System Upgrade?


New member
Hello. I am new here. I have had Trainz 2004 since it was first released, and I have enjoyed it tremendously. However, I've also had the same system since then, and before. My computer is probably AT LEAST 5 years old, and has never had an upgrade. I am facing problems with playablility in Trainz so severe that most, if not all routes run very slowly. I cannot view more than about 10 default Auran boxcars without frame rates nearly dropping to zero. And I find myself having to cut back on scenery in my custom routes. Even one partially filled baseboard, with a track, some buildings and trees, lags the frame rates. Here are my computer's specs.

2.08 GHz AMD Athlon XP processor
512 MB DDR SDRAM memory
120 GB Ultra DMA Hard Drive
NVIDIA GeForce FX 5200 video card
39.1 available gigabytes left on C Drive

Can anybody help me out on any possible upgrade information? What would I need for "normal" operation of Trainz, instead of slightly below borderline?

There is a thread about benchmarking here

Run the benchmark and see how bad your system is. Then you have to decide how much faster you can squeeze out of the existing system.

Basically up the memory to 2.5-3 gigs, ATI has the fastest video card in town on AGP the 512 mb 3850 but you may need to upgrade your power supply. Also the 3850 is faster than most systems with your sort of cpu can handle but it does really good aa and af so the jaggies will disappear.

read through this article.,1805.html

If you do go ATi 3850 reinstalling the operating system might be a sensible idea, two reasons one is it clears out all the rubbish, second it clears out any old video driver traces. There are driver cleaners that can do the same job.

Cheerio John
Just looking at your specs, the most obvious upgrade for your system would be extra memory. 512 MB of Ram is just about good enough to run WinXP and as TRS is very memory hungry by loading all your TRS installs into memory at startup, this is the bottleneck on your PC. Also your video card is possibly using some of your PCs power and is to some extent to blame. Trouble is, to upgrade to a new video card is finding an APG slotted video card nowadays a trifle hard as these have a new PCI slot and will not fit your PC's motherboard and this entails changing your motherboard, PCU, memory, possibly your hard disk etc. depending on the motherboard used.

Realisticly, a new system with a middle of the road specs would do wonders for running TRS but if you can not afford a new one, at least another 512 MB or more of DDR Ram can get better performance out of your old PC. A cutback in your TRS options like reducing drawing distance and other lesser memory using options would help too. But saying this, a 5 year old PC is just about good enough to use as a door stop. :p

Btw, hello new member, you will meet a lot of friendly people here :)


I'd agree with adding more memory.

Than use "Resource memory" (check the 2004 command - I'm remembering the 2006 one!) to add anout 256 Kb.

For me that made a huge difference in reducing stutters etc.

Ram is the key. When buying a computer makers usualy give you the latest chip & then skimp on the ram. But it's not just the volume of ram but the speed of it that counts. I recomend Si soft sandra light. Down load it from "Computer active" magazine website. It will give you detail about your system. You might find second hand bits on ebay for a cheap upgrade. Second hand ram is better than new as so much new ram is faulty. If your motherboard supports dual channel memory then buy two matching sticks 1gb for a bit more grunt. Then bang in the ATI graphics 3850 card (As said before) & it should do the job. (The 5200 you have was a bad card when new.) Make sure you have a case fan. And a new 500w Power supply (dual fan) would be a good idea before your old one waves the white flag & dies killing your new hardware! Give it a clean while your in there.
Good luck
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An often-overlooked solution when considering upgrading on a budget is to buy from a (reputable) company that does office system upgrading. You can get good used systems at a very reasonable price. I've been buying machines over the last few years here in the UK from RDC;

I've never been disappointed and would recommend them for British buyers: there are surely equivalent firms in the US who do this sort of thing.

Of course since these are office machines a decent graphics card might need to be bought separately, but the last machine I got from them had one already installed, so there was no problem.

Just some thoughts.
Find out what kind of ram you have before you buy. Your system is as old as mine is and ram is vary hard to find and high priced as it is no longer made.