What exactly is Trainz doing on your PC ?


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What is Trainz doing ?

When you build a 10,000 baseboard route, and the size in MB is absolutely huge ... and you have to "Save As", as save no longer works on a "read only" route ... when you "save as" is Trainz actually overwriting all 10,000 baseboards, and meticulously rewriting each and every 10,000 baseboards, even though you only added one tree ? My route takes @ 5 minutes to finish saving ... and on the minimap, you can see the baseboards popping up, adding on to one another @ 6 baseboards per second ... so to build my entire route on the minimap takes many minutes !

If you have 300 favorite locomotives and spread them all over creation on a 10,000 baseboard route, and they are many miles away unseen ... is Trainz still drawing all of them, and seeing 300 locomotives, and 5000 railcars that are many miles distant, completely out of sight ?

If you put up walls, or backdrop barriers, separating 300 baseboards, from one another ... and in each one of those walled off separated 300 baseboards, you place a loco ... even though you can not see the other locos on the 300 walled off baseboards, when operating the one loco, is Trainz able to see through the barrier walls, and has to draw all 300 locos, even though the barrier walls separate them all from view of one another ?

What would happen if you built a huge storage route, containing thousands of you favorite locomotives, and 10's of thousands of your favorite railcars ?

If you have 7000 genus of twees, and plant them all, in clusters of the same genus of twees, each cluster in sight, on a 10,000 baseboard route ... Is Trainz still drawing the very distant twees that are many miles away, of separate clusters that are completely out of sight ?

If you plant too many genus of twees and schwubbery, is thousands of genus of twees and schwubbery too much for Trainz to handle ? What would happen if you planted a huge arboretum with every twee, every schwub ever created for Trainz ... like 10,000 genus ... Would Trainz crash to desktop, being unable to draw 10,000 twees and schwubs ?

If you have 4000 baseboard textures ... does Trainz have a limit as to just how many hundreds of baseboard textures that can be on a single route ?

Is it true that a CDP can not be used in lower versions of Trainz (04,06) (09,10, 12) if it is larger than 2 GB in size ... but now T:ANE can use CDP's up to 5GB in size ?

Inquisitive minds with a need to know ... need to know ... or are we strictly on a: "no need to know basis, of needing to know" ?
Like any program, there are limitations to the amount of data that the program and your computer can handle. Even Microsoft Excel has a limitation on the number of rows and columns of data, as well as the number of worksheets, within a document, it can handle before either the file can no longer be opened, or ends up being corrupted.

In Trainz, many of the things you have mentioned here, such as trees, shrubs, and what not, are not displayed until you arrive within a zone, aka viewing distance, of the objects. The issue though is each and every one of these objects is still tracked and this is yet another resource for the program to handle. When you do come into view of 100,000 trees, these then have to be called up and displayed, and depending up on the speed of your computer, especially your hard drive and RAM, this can add quite a bit of time to the loading of the data.

By using the same tree and shrub, which is boring we know, there is less overhead because many objects are cached into temporary scratch space in memory (RAM). This means the data is read once, stored away in the cache, and accessed very quickly because there is no additional retrieval time needed to grab the mesh and textures. When you use lots of different objects, these have to be loaded each time as the data cache is refreshed and the new content is loaded. This is one of the factors which make rail yards and cities slower loading and have more stutter. Since trees generally are the same species over large areas this doesn't matter too much, like pines and oaks for example, will form a large forest. In this case the majority of the data is loaded and cached, remember we only need to read one pine tree, if this the majority in the forest, then the occasional oak or birch which usually appears in the forest will then be loaded up quickly because it's the one-off.

There is still a limitation on the texture quantities, but it is much higher than it was in the older TRS2004-TS2010 period. Starting with TS12, or it may have been TS2010, the limit to the number of textures was increased from a maximum of 256 textures on the whole route to 256 textures per baseboard. Textures though have their own issues as they can be blended and overlaid. Once the texture limit is reached, per baseboard, the textures are then replaced like sheets of paper on a stack.

AI consists, in fact all consists in their default form, are constantly being checked for activity. Without that you wouldn't have any activity on the route. With a special script, which is now included with many assets and started with Sniper297 and Jointed Rail, inactive consists are now turned off and do not become active until a locomotive is connected. This takes that extra background process out of the simulator and assists in increasing performance. Again, like other objects they are not displayed until you are within viewing distance. With this in mind, it's best to work with error-free content which is made to the current standards and has proper LOD targets in place. Without proper LOD targets, train cars and locomotives will load and stutter into view as they are being drawn by the video card. The LOD is something that should be considered a bit performance factor in general for the rest of the sim.

All in all, with all this background activity occurring, the best thing the end-user can do is to upgrade his or her computer to a 64-bit operating system that is running on more than a $300 computer from Wally's, and purchase T:ANE. T:ANE is much faster and operates smoother due to the code being optimized better, and the fact that it being a 64-bit application it will handle larger memory spaces than the 32-bit programs. A 32-bit program is limited to a maximum of 4GB no matter how much RAM (not disk space) is installed. This is true with 32-bit applications running on a 64-bit operating system as well such as TS12 running on Windows 10, for example. A 64-bit application is not restricted by this limit and can handle much larger memory spaces and uses the RAM much more efficiently.

Very interesting insight there, Cas, and very intriguing reply there, John!

John, especially, your last statement.

I wonder, can this beast fulfills Cas' dreams of an overly density populated route: :hehe:
I wonder how it would handle TANE, etc


BTW, Someone we all know might get it -- I suggested to him to let us all know --
You ask about CDPs..

In the 32 bit Trainz versions, the data pointers in them are supposedly 32 bit unsigned integers.. So you can figure out maximum pointer values from the size of the integers.

However in my experience the pointers behave as 32 bit signed integers. So max value is about 2.5gigs. Hence if you attempt to make a CDP greater than 2.5GB in size it crashes.
it is doing nothing in TS12:


I think it is in the middle of a bowel movement... :)
Well, I don't know why this is happening to me (it could be because my computer doesn't register to PRR standards), but I have a route. Its 368 miles. Its a free-lance version of FEC, NOT A DEM. No scenery what so ever. Just trackwork. I layed it all out, switches and all on the route layer, and the only thing I have on the session layer, is consists. After about 5 saves, stuff starts deleting and cars start to act as if they're on different layers, almost as if I have duplicated, yet not duplicated layers. I'll go to switch out, say titan america, and I'll have a row of 10 ortners. I go back to the industry with a lonesome engine to grab empties, and suddenly, the engine glitches into the first 1/4th the car and just derails. It takes the car with it and the engine. I would happen like that for both consists. I have witnessed this on multiple routes, but no one else's copy. Also, another issue, is the scenery and track would dissappear one item at a time sometimes. Say I have a switch placed at medley spur to South river. The track would stay there and then the switch would derail, screwing up AI, screwing up all running to miami. I didn't have this issue pre-SP1 TS12.

Inb4 "you should switch to tane". How about no?

I would talk to N3V about these issues, but, like....no. They can't even make a good game for once.

Sorry for the salt, I'm just frustrated with this game anymore, more so than the community.
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Alienware is a computer manufacturer, they make their own computers. So you could say they're in competition with Dell (although there markets are a bit different).