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Minimum TGC computer requirements that runs great

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  • Minimum TGC computer requirements that runs great

    I've commented randomly in various posts on this subject but thought it would be worthwhile to collect the main info in one thread. I'll cover the key pieces that often get spec'd and if anyone has more info please post as well.

    1) CPU

    Most people spec an i7, and a top of the line one at that. But IMO that is way overkill with no visible benefit.

    I use the slowest Skylake i5 (2.7ghz) and it only consume about 50% when running at 60 fps. There is lots of excess capacity.

    My bottom of the line i5 may not even be the lower limit. I don't think anyone has tested an i3 with the proper graphics card (970 or 1060 or above). That would be an interesting test. Personally I'd guess it will run but not with enough margin to be comfortable in real life...but I could easily be wrong. It may be suitable (or not) for people on an absolute shoestring budget but until the test is done we'll never know.


    2) Memory

    Most people spec 16gb or 32 gb and sometimes more. But that also is way overkill with no visible benefit.

    TGC memory usage is around 1.3Gb. Add in Windows 7 usage and the total computer still never uses 4 Gb.

    I use 8 Gb and only because 4 Gb wasn't available/cheaper. 8 Gb never all gets used.


    3) Power Supply

    Most people spec 600, 750 watt or higher power supplies. This again is vast overkill with no benefit.

    My fully loaded system when running TGC flat out with a 970 draws less than 200 watts.

    A 1060 draws even less power than the 970.

    So a 500 watt supply is plenty. It already has more than 100% margin.


    4) Cooling (Case and CPU)

    A lot of people buy extra fans, some even have conductive cooling. But given a decent case this adds nil value.

    I have the stock Intel CPU fan that came with the i5 and the stock fan that came with my case and all my temperatures are solidly in the golden zone for longevity.

    I'll post the actual temps later as I don't recall them off the top of my head. Bottomline, just make sure you have a decent case.


    5) Hard Drive

    Most people spec an SSD in addition to the SATA drive. I have one but except for faster bootup and loading I'm not sure it has any value in TGC. It probably has value if also recording your rounds with Shadowplay but I'm not sure. If anyone has done the testing to determine if it has a visible benefit then that would be good info.


    6) Graphics Card

    This is the important part. Most people used to spec a 970 as running great and being the sweet spot.

    I use a 970 and can say it runs great. Good detail and 60 fps. The equivalent card today is the 1060 which is cheaper and uses less power so it is probably the new sweet spot..

    I've overclocked my 970 to 980 levels and cranked the detail to max compared to my stock setting of object 4. There was hardly any improvements at all so I went back to stock and my standard setting of detail 4. This suggests to me that a 1070 would add something (mostly in slightly smoother play on a few really demanding courses) but the value for money is low. Go for it if you have unlimited budget, otherwise the 1060 is almost the same and much cheaper.


    7) Laptop versus desktop

    A lot of people buy laptops for the convenience. Laptops are generally less reliable, harder to fix/upgrade and certainly more expensive. So personally I wouldn't do it unless I had a real need. You could probably buy a decent desktop that runs TGC great and a decent laptop for general use for the same money. Or better yet buy a TGC desktop as per above and, with the saving, get TGC software for free!!


    8) What specs to up scale if you have extra money burning a hole in your pocket?

    Assuming you have a modern i5 or better, then probably the only thing that provides a tangible return on your extra $$ would be the graphics card. Just keep up-spec'ing that until your money runs out! LOL

    If you don't sleep well with a bottom of the line i5 then maybe up-spec that a little. It might speed up shot to show times for systems using the CPU to process the launch data but the improvement is probably small. Most of the benefit will be in your sleep, not in TGC but sleep is important too! LOL


    Conclusion:

    My general conclusion is that nowadays TGC only needs a mid-range computer (modern i5 and up) to run top notch with good margin. The key is a decent graphics card. And even that is becoming middle of the road since a 1060 runs great compared to the higher cost cards like a 1070/1080.

    So...save your money and get TGC for free!

  • #2
    FaultyClubs The only thing I would add to this is that you don't need to build a "Gaming PC" from the ground up to play TGC at solid frame rates and resolutions. Most people do spend a lot of extra money on their computers and I agree it's not necessary to get the most out of TGC.

    For most I highly doubt they want to overclock their systems. Not to mention that you may already have or can buy a few year old Dell, HP or other brand Desktop in a mid sized tower with a Core I5 or I7 with 8GB of Ram that can easily be modified to run TGC. Simply add a 500+ Watt power supply and a GTX1060 video card (Look for the Zotac 1060 Mini or EVGA 1060 SC as these will fit into most mid sized desktop cases) and play away!

    Comment


    • #3
      Lots of good valid points there.

      1) ProTee says that the sim calculations are done on the processor so it would be interesting if an i3 was considerably slower with a skytrac than an i7. I am talking launch delay. I have a GSA system and it takes about 1/2 second for launch with an 2nd gen i7.

      2) Memory is cheap. I know that it is overkill but for the cost it is better to be running 8 or 16 rather than 4.

      4) Case and cooling. If I can add something. If your case only has one fan, it will run considerably hotter than a gaming case. Most cases allow multiple fans to be added. When doing so, you can buy fans with 3 speeds ( about $20 each). Remove the crappy fan that came with the case and add a couple of 3 speed fans. If you have 3 or 4 of these fans running at low speed, it will be quieter and cool your case better than most stock cases. Having proper cooling in the case will help cool the motherboard, processor and video card. If the surrounding air is cooler, these parts will not throttle up as easily. Stock coolers are fine for today's CPU's.

      One thing to mention about FPS. With TGC it is quite choppy when dropping below 45 FPS. Adjust your settings so that you are getting 60FPS 95% of the time and the game will look and play great.

      Most everything in your post is bang on.

      Conclusion: Sock most of the money into the video card. And a $2500 desktop will not play TGC twice as good as a $1250 desktop. Save your money and buy nicer wedges.

      Comment


      • #4
        great article this should be put to a sticky, on helping others that are only limiting to just playing TGC on there build out and saving money, I personally went to a more extreme as my system is for a lot more as we play VR gaming and 4k dual monitors which I need the extra punch, but there is great deals out there to get a little more out of your build on sales if your patient and do your research. but this is a great article which put a lot of info out to others

        Comment


        • #5
          Originally posted by keither5150 View Post

          1) ProTee says that the sim calculations are done on the processor so it would be interesting if an i3 was considerably slower with a skytrac than an i7. I am talking launch delay. I have a GSA system and it takes about 1/2 second for launch with an 2nd gen i7.
          I'd love to see a good test of an i3 with a 970/1060 on a Skytrak/GSA/Protee system!


          2) Memory is cheap. I know that it is overkill but for the cost it is better to be running 8 or 16 rather than 4.
          True, especially these days when 8 Gb is often the same price as 4!


          4) Case and cooling. If I can add something. If your case only has one fan, it will run considerably hotter than a gaming case. Most cases allow multiple fans to be added. When doing so, you can buy fans with 3 speeds ( about $20 each). Remove the crappy fan that came with the case and add a couple of 3 speed fans. If you have 3 or 4 of these fans running at low speed, it will be quieter and cool your case better than most stock cases. Having proper cooling in the case will help cool the motherboard, processor and video card. If the surrounding air is cooler, these parts will not throttle up as easily. Stock coolers are fine for today's CPU's.
          I said I'd report my actual temps when I had a moment so might as well report them here. I ran TGC non-stop for about 1/2 hour and the peak temps were:

          CPU = 44 deg
          Chipset = 47 deg
          GPU = 66 deg

          At these temperatures the hardware will probably last longer than me and in no danger of throttling up. In my case extra cooling would be a waste even though it is a non-gaming case.

          But the point is everyone should measure their system and, if the numbers are high, it is easy and effective to add fans. I like your suggestion.



          One thing to mention about FPS. With TGC it is quite choppy when dropping below 45 FPS. Adjust your settings so that you are getting 60FPS 95% of the time and the game will look and play great.
          This is great advice and bang on IMO.
          Last edited by FaultyClubs; 10-03-2016, 07:28 PM.

          Comment


          • #6
            ...My bottom-of-the-line i5 may not even be the lower limit...
            What is the lower limit? How about 1/2 an I5?

            In relentless pursuit of failure and in the interest of science, I deactivated two of the four cores in my I5 and re-ran TGC using my previous settings with object detail at 4 and water at Max. I played first four holes of Pebble Beach on the PC.

            Quality Settings:

            Resolution=1080p
            Launch=High
            AA=on
            Vsync=on
            Quality=4
            Water=Max
            Trees=2000
            Distance=300


            Results were:

            1) 60 fps 99.9% of the time
            2) CPU Usage = mid-70s (Peak = 86%)
            3) Looked and played great.

            I can't test Skytrak/Protee/GSA shot-to-show times since I have a GC2. Best I could do was use the PC version and see if the mouse played smoothly.

            Given this test, an I3-6100 / 1060 combo is not out of the question for a shoestring budget. I don't know if it would have the processing margin to handle the extra overhead of the Skytrak/Protee/GSA processing though. It would need to be tested.

            Comment


            • Sledge0001
              Sledge0001 commented
              Editing a comment
              Well written and I love the experiment! Can you elaborate if this was the 6GB or 3GB version of the 1060?

            • FaultyClubs
              FaultyClubs commented
              Editing a comment
              Sorry should have mentioned that, it was my 4gb gtx 970.

          • #7
            Hey guys first post! I recently put together a nice budget simulator setup in my garage. I bought SkyTrak and I am absolutely loving it. My question, and I know you've all probably heard this before - is the below gaming laptop a good one for running TGC? From reading thru the forum and specs I think it is but I wanted the "experts" advice. I need a new laptop anyway so I am thinking of killing 2 birds here. I am looking at a laptop for the convenience and portability. I just don't think a desktop is viable with my simulator situation in my garage. Anyways, any advice is extremely appreciated. Love the forum.

            http://store.hp.com/us/en/pdp/Laptop...-15t-x7r21av-1

            Comment


            • #8
              Originally posted by Diablo25 View Post
              Hey guys first post! I recently put together a nice budget simulator setup in my garage. I bought SkyTrak and I am absolutely loving it. My question, and I know you've all probably heard this before - is the below gaming laptop a good one for running TGC? From reading thru the forum and specs I think it is but I wanted the "experts" advice. I need a new laptop anyway so I am thinking of killing 2 birds here. I am looking at a laptop for the convenience and portability. I just don't think a desktop is viable with my simulator situation in my garage. Anyways, any advice is extremely appreciated. Love the forum.

              http://store.hp.com/us/en/pdp/Laptop...-15t-x7r21av-1
              Looks like you should be fine, might not be able to run 4k as smooth as you would HD.

              Comment


              • #9
                Originally posted by frackh View Post

                Looks like you should be fine, might not be able to run 4k as smooth as you would HD.
                Thanks so much track. I appreciate the reply. That's kinda what I figured.

                Comment


                • #10
                  Originally posted by Diablo25 View Post
                  .. is the below gaming laptop a good one for running TGC? From reading thru the forum and specs I think it is....
                  Unless I read it wrong, that laptop uses a gtx 1050 which is below the 970 or 1060 recommended by this thread or by Protee so no it's not a good one for TGC.

                  If you're willing to cut the resolution down below 1080p, dial the settings back and aren't too demanding in terms of frame rate or objects popping into view or morphing from low to high quality it'll run ok though. HP isn't the cheapest so there might be other laptops with the recommended 1060 for similar price.
                  ​​​

                  Comment


                  • #11
                    Originally posted by FaultyClubs View Post

                    Unless I read it wrong, that laptop uses a gtx 1050 which is below the 970 or 1060 recommended by this thread or by Protee so no it's not a good one for TGC.

                    If you're willing to cut the resolution down below 1080p, dial the settings back and aren't too demanding in terms of frame rate or objects popping into view or morphing from low to high quality it'll run ok though. HP isn't the cheapest so there might be other laptops with the recommended 1060 for similar price.
                    ​​​
                    Yeah I noticed that also. I am seeing several with the GTX 960 which would handle the game from what I've read. The one below looks pretty solid. Thanks for the heads up FaultyClubs

                    https://www.amazon.com/dp/B015PYZ0J6...g=WC38536&th=1

                    Comment


                    • FaultyClubs
                      FaultyClubs commented
                      Editing a comment
                      The gtx 960 is similar to the 1050ti so you are just going sideways...actually backwards since the 960 is old technology. My comments above apply equally to the gtx 960.

                      But you actually linked to a 960m which is a completely different animal and less than half as fast as the 1050ti. My grandson plays tgc on his mom's laptop with that card and he's happy...but then again he's 3 and doesn't care that I've turned the settings way down. lol

                      Is there a reason you are avoiding the recommended 970 or 1060? They run tgc great. But if you can't afford a 1060 then the 1050ti is probably the next best thing.

                  • #12
                    I've been out of the PC gaming world for a bit so I guess I was mistaken with my statement. I need to brush up on these damn cards. The only "game" I'd be using this laptop for would be TGC. I need a new PC so I'm looking to kill 2 birds. Appreciate the responses.

                    Comment


                    • #13
                      So I dust off my desktop, built it back in 2010, mostly for gaming and video editing but I haven't done much gaming in the past few years. Anyway, it's running an i7 920 CPU, 24GB RAM, and an Nvidia 660 GPU. I have TGC running at 1080, high quality, windowed mode and it's running just fine. The HQ Tree Count is 300, Tree Distance is 314; those were the default. Looks like that's about as much as the old video can handle but it's still very playable (smooth renderings).
                      I'll likely be building a new box in the summer/fall so will wait until then to enjoy the maxed out graphic settings.
                      So for those that already have an older system around 5-7 years old, don't toss it to the recycle bin yet. Unless you need to have the max graphic settings, can save some money and re-use the old box.

                      Comment


                      • keither5150
                        keither5150 commented
                        Editing a comment
                        If I were you, I would buy a GTX 1060 6GB and put it in there.... you may find that you don't need a rebuild. I am running a 2nd gen i7 with 16GB ram and a GTX 980ti. Once you put the 1060 in there, you will be surprised how much more you can turn up the graphics.

                      • frackh
                        frackh commented
                        Editing a comment
                        Yeh I've thought about that and agree with you it would be fine with just that. But I'll need to build a new box that can also handle video editing so I'll just wait to see what PCIE 4.x will bring. Not in a big rush, unless the new stuff doesn't show up by fall.

                    • #14
                      I'm looking at some options with the 970 and 1060 cards. I'd really love to be able to get a desktop and save some money but my simulator setup is in my garage. The mobility of a laptop is the big reason I'm looking to go that direction. I guess I could drag a tower out there whenever I'm going to use the simulator but that would be cumbersome to do constantly.

                      Comment


                      • keither5150
                        keither5150 commented
                        Editing a comment
                        If you have to go with a laptop..... stick with a 10 series card. The 980 m is ok but the 970m is less powerful than a GTX960. The GTX 10 series mobile is almost every bit as good as their desktop counterparts. For the love of God, get a 10 series card if you have to get a laptop. They should have that as their advertising slogan.

                      • Joko
                        Joko commented
                        Editing a comment
                        I have my tower in the basement, and I ran cables (HDMI and USB extension cable) into the garage. It's definitely possible depending on your house configuration.

                      • Jasonstanley
                        Jasonstanley commented
                        Editing a comment
                        Ha ha, that's what I do, drag my tower in and out. Put some handles on it, like a suitcase.

                    • #15
                      Pulled the trigger on a rig with a 1060 card. Fully meets the requirements for TGC. I am extremely excited to get TGC this week and get after it. Pumped. Thanks for the advice boys.
                      Last edited by Diablo25; 02-05-2017, 05:42 AM.

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