View Full Version : What PC hardware and OS platform does TS 12 best run on?

July 18th, 2015, 09:25 PM
Will TS 12 even install and run on Linux?

Does anybody here run Trainz on overclocked processors?

Is performance limited by the software design itself or does TS 12 progressively run smoother on high-end hardware including top notch gaming video cards?

You may have noticed a strobe-light effect in animation even with FR set to 60 Hz. In cab/chase view the trains have no jitter but the background does. In line-side/free roam view the background has no jitter but the passing trains do.

Will TS 12 run markedly better on a custom-built $5,000 gaming PC with a high-end monitor or HDTV than on the average OOB PC? Is the game audio properties for 3D well-suited for a surround sound/home theater?

Here is my PC specs, I built this PC in late 2009 myself with off-the shelf parts. I put in an upgraded graphics card in 2013 and have a 2013 $200 Samsung 20" LED monitor. (there is no Intel Inside or anywhere near my PC):cool:

-380w EA power supply

Gigabyte™ GA-MA790XT-UD4P, serial number last 4 is 1386: DDR slots x 4, AM3 processor socket: Ultra Durable 3™

-processor (not overclocked)
AMDŽ Athlon™ II 620, 64-bit, 4 cores, 2.6 GHz clockspeed, 2MB cache

-HDD (magnetic disk, not solid state)
SeagateŽ 500 GB, 7,400 RPM, 16MB buffer, SATA/300: Model ST3500418AS 500

DIMM DDR3 2GB 1600 DUAL x 4, CMX4GX3M2A160069, Corsair = 8 GB total

-Graphics Card (advertised as a mid-grade card, retailed for $99.95 plus shipping from amazon.com in 2013)
XFX CORE Edition FX-777A-ZNF4 (AMD Radeon HD 7770) 1GB 128-Bit GDDR5 PCI Express 3.0 x16 HDCP Ready CrossFireX Support Video Card

ˇ 1GB 128-Bit GDDR5
ˇ Core Clock 1000MHz
ˇ 2 x DVI (1 Single Link, 1 Dual Link) DVI 1 x HDMI HDMI 1 x DisplayPort DisplayPort
ˇ 640 Stream Processors
ˇ PCI Express 3.0 x16

Note: the drivers in this card and on my PC are all up to date.

MS Windows 7 Home Premium Edition 64-bit (Aero disabled when game is running)

July 18th, 2015, 09:33 PM
Trainz 2012 will run smooth on new PC's and PC's from the past 2-3 years. Mine being a old one, Trainz 2012 has a hassle running, especially because of TAD and the DRM.

July 18th, 2015, 09:45 PM
I run mine on a 5 years old Intel Core i7 975 Extreme Edition, overclocked on air, 4 Ghz usually. I have bumped it to 4.3 Ghz and a bit higher, but it doesn't seem to make visual difference. Upgrading of parts over the years has helped more. Now it is installed on a separate Samsung 840 EVO SSD, on a dedicate PCIe SATA III riser card, also installed a total of 24 GB of RAM (yes, it is overkill, but why not?), and GPU is now a GTX 980 by EVGA AC 2.0.
Runs really good for me. Still get a jitter once in a great while, depends on what is going in the background, and what assets it is loading, and how many assets.


July 18th, 2015, 09:59 PM
But wouldn't powerful HARDWARE be able to handling a LOT of asset loading fast?

The occasional jittery movements on screen might also be attributed to software design. Sometimes the game will intermittently time out or pause for a coupe seconds. I still get jitter even when Trainz is the only program running and Windows 7 is switched from Aero to classic display properties. In line-side view, trains move along with a strobe-light effect no matter what I do. There is not the fluid movement that I desire. In chase view, the trains themselves are not actually moving but the background itself moves and shudders. Only objects actually moving across the screen have the strobe-light effect.

There is another PC sim game I play called Microsoft FSX Deluxe Edition which is about flying aircraft in mock world scenery. Unlike Trainz, there is no surveyor/editor for this flight sim. I can't change assets as buildings, trees, animals, cars, boats, airport infrastructure, runways, buildings and such. I can select various aircraft to fly (with only MY hands on the controls) and even change their tail numbers and call signs, however. There is no user-programmable AI command/pilot/driver/sessions for planes either although built-in planes, randomly generated by the software, do passively fly strictly under their own control in the background. I can't order other pilots to fly certain schedules or flight plans.

The animation for this airplane game is much smoother on my SAME PC hardware than TS 12 but this game seems to crash a lot when too many vehicles, too much plane traffic and too much scenery/weather detail is introduced.

For superior gaming it is my opinion that both software and hardware have to be superior and compatible.

July 18th, 2015, 10:05 PM
In my opinion, this question is too generalized. The question refers to hardware in general, but really we have to ask, what makes the program to run slow? It could be by four interrelated reasons:

Slow processor.
HDD running slow for modern standards.
Low end video card.
Old style RAM (There is a debate on this one).

Try to run the program on at least i3 Intel or equivalent AMD ( I run mine on i7). For the money, by far the standard today should be an SSD. With prices coming down everyday, a $100 video card should show reasonable graphics. The same for RAM. Is ridiculous what you can buy today for $50 bucks, use at least 6Gb of 1,600 Mhz just to be sure.

Observation of the behavior of the program will tell you what could be the problem: If you notice that when your consist arrives to a heavily populated area, and you see the light of the HDD flickering, the program is accessing assets stored in the HDD, and if it is an older 5,500 rpm, it will freeze images or show objects appearing after arriving. Use an SSD and this will not happen. If the program loads slow and run slow all the time, most likely your processor is an old one. Using common sense and logic will tell you the shortcomings.

Now for the real thing: If you have a top of the line machine and the program still does not run as it should, then there is something wrong with the way the program manages the RAM, TAD, etc. On this I am no expert and would let very talented members of this forum to elaborate.

July 18th, 2015, 10:21 PM
Well said, Brian.

Heat plays a big part in all this too. So as Brian says if you have a fairly high-end machine which is still not performing top-notch, you might want to look at things like this. Recently I had a clump or two of cat fur on my intake vents. I keep my machine regularly clean, but my big fluffy cat Lulu decided it was a comfy spot to sleep near my big computer. Her fur clogged the intake fan and vents, which by the way I had recently cleaned about 3 weeks before. Her fur has the texture of soft cotton which she sheds like crazy all year long so this has become more important to watch for as the summer months have come along and things are a bit warmer. With the heat build-up, my machine was running doggedly slow and crashing in Trainz, both versions. A simple cleaning of the fur off the intake and the machine is like a new one!

Also, even if you have the old-fashioned hard drives. I highly recommend defragging them. I defrag my data drives daily, especially after I've been doing a lot of editing and asset repairing as this opens and closes a lot of folders. After a good defrag, the system runs a lot nicer overall.

It's important to remember too that no matter how super your computer is, it will never be able to run a route that is so jam-packed with stuff that the game becomes a virtual diorama instead of a moving game. If you are running a route that constantly gives you the awful stutters, take a look at it in Surveyor. Lots of grass splines, lots and lots of Speed Trees, and too much of anything will kill the performance.

Keep in mind that the computer is pushing all this data around and it takes a lot of effort, no matter how big and fast your computer is, to display it and move it around. Sometimes, as I say, too much of a good thing isn't good at all, and you might want to consider a bit of gleaning out of less important things such as grass clumps especially if there are too many of them.


July 18th, 2015, 10:48 PM
Fact is, you'll get diminishing returns from throwing better hardware at TS12 because is has some fundamental limits due to its 32bit architecture and ancient JET engine.
It simply cannot address the amount of RAM or number of CPU cores/ hyperthreading that T:ANE can as a result of its new E2 engine and 64 bit OS support.

Sure, my upgrades to SSDs and faster CPUs/ GPUs have made perceptible differences to the in-game performance of TS12 for me over the time it has been at large, but I would contend that the biggest improvements came as a result of the Service Packs and Hot Fixes applied by N3V to the original code. Unfortunately, some of the problems like scenery items 'popping up' as you travel along a busy scenic route and the occasional frame freezes haven't gone away in TS12 SP1 HF4 as far as I can tell.

There's an old adage about 'putting lipstick on a pig'. It aint going to make much of a difference if the underlying framework/ architecture is deficient.

July 18th, 2015, 11:01 PM
So, it seems to boil down to mostly SOFTWARE design and not hardware so much.
The analogy: the hardware is the car and the software is the gasoline she runs on

We all know what happens if you put dirty fuel even into a million dollar super car.

To be fair we can say that TS 12 is "ARCO AM/PM 87 octane pump gas" vs AVGAS (aviation gasoline).

Stutters and sporadic frame freezes are like "knocks and pings" in an automobile.

July 19th, 2015, 10:54 AM
So, it seems to boil down to mostly SOFTWARE design and not hardware so much.
The analogy: the hardware is the car and the software is the gasoline she runs on

We all know what happens if you put dirty fuel even into a million dollar super car.

To be fair we can say that TS 12 is "ARCO AM/PM 87 octane pump gas" vs AVGAS (aviation gasoline).

Stutters and sporadic frame freezes are like "knocks and pings" in an automobile.
Tomshardware.com reviews price performance on processors, Intel normally is best on performance.

Intel has some very good compilers that extract the most out of Intel CPUs ideal for games, nVidia has a program that offers support for game companies to get the most out of their GPUs.

On higher end hardware TS12 runs fine, but I'd suggest you need a 500 watt power supply that is fully used as a rule of thumb to say if your system is in the higher end.

Content makes a huge difference. TANE on my rig gives 40 FPS on one route and 10 on one of the builtin routes same with TS12, pick the wrong content and it doesn't matter how fast your machine is. The really demanding content is often made in Sketchup.

Disks well it doesn't affect the fps so much but an SSD helps the scenery appear when it should. Memory if you have 4 gigs that is sufficient, more doesn't gain you very much for TS12. The 32 bit program means the instructions load faster and execute faster than a 64 bit program so TS12 is not so demanding as TANE for hardware.

Cheerio John