Upgrading Graphics Card

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Upgrading Graphics Card

Post  StephenRWells on Sun 01 May 2016, 6:36 pm

Hi All,

I know that there has been a lot of discussion on various forums about the pros and cons of different graphics card and you are probably thinking "oh no, not another one" but I would like to have your thoughts on my system and what I am thinking of doing.

My current system is

Power Supply MODX Stream OCZ 600Watt
Motherboard Asus M4A79XTD EVO
Processor AMD Phenom(tm) II X4 840 Processor
Memory (RAM) 4.00 GB
Graphics ATI Radeon HD 5700 Series + Patch
Gaming graphics 2815 MB Total available graphics memory
I have 4 hard drives which serve me well for how I have things set up. I will be changing my smallest and very ancient drive for a bigger one.
I am using W10 64 bit.

For some time I have not been completely happy with the graphics card and there have also been rumours that Microsoft might block the Patch for the ATI Graphics card. In view of this I am considering changing it to a Nvidia MSI GeForce GTX 750Ti card. As I only use MSTS and OR would this be a suitable substitute?

Regards,

Stephen
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Re: Upgrading Graphics Card

Post  slipperman12 on Sun 01 May 2016, 8:23 pm

Hi Stephen,
The NVIDIA 750ti is rated much better than the AMD 5700, and very similar to the HD 7850 I'm currently running.

Your PSU will be fine, so long as it has one 6-pin plug, marked PCIe.  The only possible drawback is the size of the card - the one I used for testing (ASUS OC 2GB) is  about 8.5 inches long, so you need to make sure it'll fit in your case.  If it's a custom-built PC, that shouldn't be a problem!

My Windows 10 test PC uses the same motherboard; depending on how your RAM is configured, you may have two spare slots - if so, I suggest that you double your RAM to 8GB.  A 64-bit OS will be much happier with that amount Smile

From your figures, it seems that your 5700 has 2GB of memory; it also uses about 800MB of your RAM, which leaves about 3.2GB for everything else, which could soon be used.  Obviously, if Windows runs out of memory, it pages it out to the hard drive (Page File - virtual memory) with its associated slower access speed.

If you are able to, I strongly recommend that, first of all, you increase the amount of RAM and see what difference it makes.  If it's still not as you would like, then upgrade the graphics card.  The processor runs at 3.2GHz which is OK for MSTS/ORTS.

Cheers,
Ged

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Re: Upgrading Graphics Card

Post  Markh5682 on Sun 01 May 2016, 10:26 pm

Hi Stephen.

I am currently using the NVIDIA 750ti (from EVGA) in my computer, it is a good graphics card and it handles MSTS, OR, Miniroutes, Trainz and some high end graphics editors with ease, it is good value for what you get too.

I have 8GB ram installed, I would do as Ged suggested and add more ram to make it 8GB.


Mark
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Re: Upgrading Graphics Card

Post  terrycunliffe on Mon 02 May 2016, 11:00 am

Hi Stephen,
I'm also running the 750 ti with 8 GB RAM.
However my processor is only a quad 2.40 GHz, and that 's fine for MSTS, so I'm sure the extra RAM would help you.
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Re: Upgrading Graphics Card

Post  StephenRWells on Mon 02 May 2016, 12:23 pm

Hi Ged, Mark and Terry,

Thanks for your prompt replies and advice. It looks as though I will be installing an extra 4GB of RAM as well as the new graphics card and hard drive. First job of course is to check that all will fit - it should as my son-in law built my current computer and I remember that during the rebuild I had to have a new case as my old one wasn't big enough.

One other question, would I be better off with a separate sound card - I recently had to buy new speakers which use a USB connector and now the only way I can change the volume is with whatever program I am using. They are digital speakers and do have a built in volume buttons and a mute button.

Thanks,

Stephen
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Re: Upgrading Graphics Card

Post  slipperman12 on Mon 02 May 2016, 2:17 pm

Hi Stephen,
The on-board sound, these days, is quite good enough for MSTS. However, if you want something a little better, probably for playing music or videos, I'd recommend a separate sound card.  

One word of warning!  Many of the cheap (£10 - £15) cards use the CMedia 8738 chip - these DO NOT work in Windows 10, because the company haven't released any drivers; I tried the Win 7 drivers and they don't work.

I haven't done any in-depth testing of sound cards, but know that the ASUS Xonar DS works fine in Win 10 (specific drivers have been released) and I believe the same applies to other cards in the Xonar series).  The DS uses the "old style" PCI socket, but the newer DSx plugs into a PCIe x 1 socket.  Although the Xonar cards have 3.5mm jacks for connecting speakers, they will also work with USB connected speakers.

Cheers,
Ged

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Re: Upgrading Graphics Card

Post  StephenRWells on Mon 02 May 2016, 5:46 pm

Hi Ged,

Thanks for your help. I've checked my computer and I have 2x2 GB cards installed so it will have to be the full 8 GB of RAM I shall have to buy.

It looks though I shall stick to my present sound system for the time being as the sounds are quite adequate.

Thanks again,

Stephen
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Re: Upgrading Graphics Card

Post  slipperman12 on Mon 02 May 2016, 6:51 pm

Hi Stephen,
I don't understand!!

You have 2 x 2GB which should leave 2 empty sockets. You can get another 2 x 2GB to fill those sockets and you'll have 8GB. Just be sure to get the same specification as that already installed in your PC. You can do this using a utility from website : http://uk.crucial.com/gbr/en or you can download a freeware utility called CPU-Z from : http://www.cpuid.com/softwares/cpu-z.html

2GB cards are getting a little scarce these days, but Amazon have a kit of 2 x Corsair 2GB cards for £41.02 although you'll find that some 2 x 4GB kits are cheaper!! Note that you need DIMM cards, NOT SO-DIMM and not SIMM.

Cheers,
Ged

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Re: Upgrading Graphics Card

Post  StephenRWells on Tue 03 May 2016, 12:53 pm

Hi Ged,

Yes I do have 4 sockets, 2 black and 2 blue but the way my brain is working at the moment I am trying to keep things as simple as possible, also I'm not sure why there are 2 different colours. My son-in-law installed the present ones into the black ones which works ok.
My normal supplier for computer components is Novatech and they stock a Novatech 4GB (1x4GB) DDR3 PC3-12800 1600MHz Single Module for £16.99 so two for £33.98 seems reasonable to me.

Thanks for your help,

Stephen
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Re: Upgrading Graphics Card

Post  StephenRWells on Tue 03 May 2016, 5:08 pm

Hi Ged,

A quick update. As I was getting confused about which RAM to install I phoned Novatech who looked at my present set up and advised that I install 2 Novatech 4GB (1x4GB) DDR3 PC3-10600 1333MHz Single Module. These, along with everything I need has now been ordered.

Thanks again,

Stephen
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Re: Upgrading Graphics Card

Post  slipperman12 on Tue 03 May 2016, 9:01 pm

Hi Stephen,
The different coloured sockets are because the motherboard uses dual channel memory and using two of the same colour means they are correctly setup.  Ideally, when you install two memory cards, they should be a matched pair - as you know, when anything is manufactured, there are tolerances which can result in units from the same production line being slightly different.  It might be worthwhile checking with Novatech if they can supply matched pairs.  It's not the end of the world if they can't; it just means that the speed of the pair will be governed by the slower unit.  It's not likely you'll ever know the difference, but I thought I'd mention it!

You've got two options - (i) leave the 2 x 2GB in their sockets and install the new 2 x 4GB in the two spare sockets, giving a total of 12GB, or (ii) replace the 2 x 2GB cards with the new 2 x 4GB.

Cheers,
Ged

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Re: Upgrading Graphics Card

Post  StephenRWells on Wed 04 May 2016, 10:39 am

Hi Ged,

Novatech suggested same as you, just add the 2 new ones into the spare sockets to give 12 MB RAM and if that works well then leave it at that, otherwise remove the existing ones and replace with the new.

I will let you know what happens when everything is up and running.

Regards,

Stephen
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Re: Upgrading Graphics Card

Post  StephenRWells on Sun 15 May 2016, 4:09 pm

Hi Ged,

I did the basic upgrade a week ago and a quick check showed that all appeared to be well. However, my health problems and house improvements have meant the computer being on the back burner for a little while. I decided that I had to have a stair lift installed as it is now nearly impossible for me to climb the stairs even on hands and feet - the doctors have been saying "no you don't need one the arthritis will soon get better", that was 2 months ago and things haven't improved. So the stair lift was ordered but before that can be fitted we had to have a new hall, stairs and landing carpet fitted. This meant moving the computer from under the stairs into the dining room and then back again once the carpet was down. The stair lift arrives tomorrow which will make life so much easier along with the armchair with rising seat which I already have.

I moved the contents of F: drive temporarily onto C: drive, took out the old 80Gb, replaced it with the new 480Gb SSD and installed the original F: Drive contents onto it. I added the new RAM into the spare sockets which now give me 12Gb RAM. The AMD graphics card was replaced with the GeForce 750 Ti Card. The result is that MSTS runs better with improved graphics. I might be able to make further improvements if necessary but I find this fine tuning is a bit beyond me. OR is also better and runs even more smoothly than before, this is with the graphics set on automatic. Frame rates aren't much higher but as long as it is still running smoothly I can't see that that matters - some areas it drops down to about 15fps.

Regards,

Stephen
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Re: Upgrading Graphics Card

Post  rufuskins on Sun 15 May 2016, 7:20 pm

Pleased to hear that your computer upgrade has gone well, but obviously not so pleased to hear of your mobility issues. Thankfully we live in a true bungalow and hence stairs aren't an issue, but like you I do have one of the chairs that rise and fall. At the moment my hip/arthritis problems don't really need the chair but in the long term it's going to be vital - also Ilma quite likes to use it!
In both life and MSTS/OR compromise is the name of the game!


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Re: Upgrading Graphics Card

Post  Markh5682 on Sun 15 May 2016, 10:14 pm

It depends on the type of arthritis you have whether you'll notice any improvement or not.....................

Osteoarthritis can be kept at bay and doesn't cause deformed joints and is the lesser evil of the two.

Rheumatoid arthritis however is degenerative and can be extremely painful, it causes deformities in the joints and a lack of mobility, I have deformed joints in my foot, knee, elbow, and more recently my hands are deforming, there is no cure for it and medication only manages it and slows down it's inevitable progress, I haven't been able to manage stairs very well without help for some time now, but since my right hand started deforming, things like preparing food (which I used to enjoy) have become a painful chore, using the mouse now causes pain and swelling, which means I only log on to catch up on forums and emails, even MSTS has had to take a back seat this last few months, I hope yours isn't that bad and is the more manageable type rather than the degenerative kind.

Glad you managed the upgrades without any major problems. OK to get more out of your graphics card, see Ged's posts regarding the NVIDIA Inspector Elevated Settings utility and his recommended settings for MSTS. (link to that thread below.)

http://tsforum.freeclanforum.com/t838-nvidia-graphics-card-settings

NVIDIA Inspector utility.

http://nvidia-inspector.en.lo4d.com/


Mark
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Re: Upgrading Graphics Card

Post  StephenRWells on Wed 18 May 2016, 11:01 am

Hi,

My Arthritis is the Rheumatoid variety which I have had in my shoulders for the last 16 years without too much of a problem. This flare up was very quick and I went from being able to walk an effortless 6-7 miles a day to a painful 60-70 yards. The current medication seems to be holding any further degeneration at bay. Time will tell. I hope, Mark that your condition doesn't get too much worse.

I will be looking at Ged's suggestions soon, in the meantime I have downloaded the NVIDIA Inspector Elevated Settings utility ready for when I feel able to get my head round it - graphics settings are a different language to me.

Regards,

Stephen
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Re: Upgrading Graphics Card

Post  StephenRWells on Mon 23 May 2016, 5:39 pm

Hi All,

I have taken the plunge and used the Nvidia Inspector Elevated Settings utility. It offered me GLOBAL_DRIVER_PROFILE (Base Profile) and I used all the settings that Mark5682 used except that I have changed the texture setting from Clamp to Allow as per Clive's suggestion. The result is that both MSTS and OR run nearly perfectly - the shimmering has effectively disappeared, telegraph poles and electric pylons etc. come towards me smoothly all of which give me better graphics than I have ever have. I do, however, have 2 small problems, one in MSTS and one in OR.

With diesels and electric locos in OR when starting from rest I get wheelspin no matter how gently I try and start and I also sometimes get wheelspin when driving normally under steady power. I'm sure that this didn't happen with the AMD graphics card and I'm not going to test it by replacing the old card.

In MSTS when using the normal cabview I now get a grid across the screen, this happens with all types of loco and I have no idea how to get rid of it. If necessary I can live with it as it isn't too intrusive, just annoying. I have tried to attach a screen shot EMI cab.jpg but don't know if it will work. If it doesn't can someone please tell me in simple terms how to do it.

Regards,

Stephen
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EMI cab.jpg I hope that this works!!You don't have permission to download attachments.(192 Kb) Downloaded 9 times
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Re: Upgrading Graphics Card

Post  slipperman12 on Mon 23 May 2016, 6:32 pm

Hi Stephen,
To get rid of the "grid" in cabviews, add :  /nofiltercab to the train.exe parameters.  For example, the target line in the shortcut properties could look like this :  "T:\MSTS\Train Simulator\train.exe" -mem:2048 /nofiltercab
If you're using Train Store, or Mini Loader, add /nofiltercab  into the appropriate positions.

If the above doesn't work for you, try adding :1 after /nofiltercab (so it becomes /nofiltercab:1); I have seen this used, although, personally, I don't need to.

The wheel-slip will be nothing to do with the graphics card, but with settings within Open Rails.  There have been several updates concerning adhesion recently.  I suggest you click on the Options button, then the Simulation tab; make sure the "Advanced adhesion model" is NOT ticked.

Cheers,
Ged

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Re: Upgrading Graphics Card

Post  StephenRWells on Tue 24 May 2016, 3:57 pm

Hi Ged,

As usual you have very quickly come up with the solutions - thank you.

Adding : /nofiltercab has got rid of the "Grid"

Yes I had ticked the "Advanced Adhesion model" box - unticking it has eliminated the wheelspin.

I think that I have answered my own question about uploading pictures, there should be below one picture with the grid and one without.





Regards,

Stephen
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Re: Upgrading Graphics Card

Post  slipperman12 on Tue 24 May 2016, 4:17 pm

Hi Stephen,
Glad to be of help Smile

Cheers,
Ged

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Re: Upgrading Graphics Card

Post  StephenRWells on Thu 26 May 2016, 12:40 pm

Hi All,

I forgot to mention that the other slight downside to these graphics settings is the same as others have had in that the text in the Track Monitor etc. is slightly blurred. I have also found that when running Greater Eastern with OR it does stutter occasionally even in low density tiles. These are things that I can easily live with provided that they don't get much worse.

Regards,

Stephen
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Re: Upgrading Graphics Card

Post  slipperman12 on Thu 26 May 2016, 2:02 pm

Hi Stephen,
Yes, it's unfortunate that the blurring of text is the penalty to be paid for a near-excellent image quality! I take it you've followed this topic - http://tsforum.freeclanforum.com/t838-nvidia-graphics-card-settings - I had great fun sorting things out!!

The stuttering in Greater Eastern is unlikely to be caused by the graphics card. I see that you referred to OR when describing this problem - make sure that "Dynamic shadows" is not selected and, if that doesn't help, try reducing the viewing distance.

Cheers,
Ged

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Re: Upgrading Graphics Card

Post  rufuskins on Thu 26 May 2016, 2:28 pm

I have been following this thread as it appears to be very useful in terms of settings for Open Rails!


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Re: Upgrading Graphics Card

Post  StephenRWells on Thu 26 May 2016, 2:29 pm

Hi Ged,

I read your topic http://tsforum.freeclanforum.com/t838-nvidia-graphics-card-settings and then followed Mark5682's settings to achieve this near perfect image quality.

Yes, I had ticked the Dynamic Shadows box and to me it looks better this way - most of the time. I might try reducing the viewing distance instead if I get too many problems.

Thanks,

Stephen


Stephen
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