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AnorakNeil
April 25th, 2008, 12:24 PM
Hello,

I need to buy a new graphics card for my PC, as my 64MB Radeon card is having trouble processing the demanding 3D graphics of TRS 2006.

What would your suggestion be as to which card would be best for TRS 2006, bearing in mind I only have a 4x AGP slot.

I'm running TRS 2006 on Windows XP, with a Pentium 4 2.5Ghz processor and 1280MB RAM.

Thanks.

ColPrice2002
April 25th, 2008, 12:49 PM
Hi,

I'm running an nVidia 6600 GT (8x AGP) card

With an AMD 3000+ processor, 2Gb Ram + Fortissimo sound card.

I tried overclocking (using the nTune facility).

nTune upped the processor speed (+20%), but din't find that the graphics card needed overslocking. So I guess thatt he bottleneck is the main processor. I'm getting frame rates 24-35 on average....

HTH

Colin

johnwhelan
April 25th, 2008, 01:35 PM
Hello,

I need to buy a new graphics card for my PC, as my 64MB Radeon card is having trouble processing the demanding 3D graphics of TRS 2006.

What would your suggestion be as to which card would be best for TRS 2006, bearing in mind I only have a 4x AGP slot.

I'm running TRS 2006 on Windows XP, with a Pentium 4 2.5Ghz processor and 1280MB RAM.

Thanks.

AGP video cards are not as common as PCI-e cards. Try ebuyer.co.uk and search for AGP. They have a 3850 ATI card that looks quite good to me but verify that your power supply is good enough ie powerful enough to support it first.

From memory an 8X video card will work fine in a 4X slot it just runs a bit slower.

Life is simpler if you stay with ATI otherwise you are into bits of old graphics card drivers clogging up the system and messing around with performance. The other thought would be to up the memory but if its an older machine then the memory might be expensive.

Cheerio John

AnorakNeil
April 25th, 2008, 01:57 PM
Hi,

Thanks for your replies.

I have just upgraded my RAM from 512MB to just over 1GB and thought this would be enough for TRS 2006. As for the graphics card, I have got my eye on a PowerColor ATI Radeon 9600 Pro 256MB.

The recommended system requirements for TRS 2006 are 1GB of RAM and a 128MB graphics card.

Do you think the new Radeon 9600 would be upto the job? I was considering it because it was a decent price and had 128MB more than the TRS 2006 recommended spec.

The display problems I seem to have at the moment are stuttering graphics and long pauses. I assumed this was just down the 64MB card I am currently using.

Thanks.

GP_38-2
April 25th, 2008, 02:18 PM
VRAM (Video Random Access Memory) doesn't matter much if the GPU (Graphics Processing Unit) isn't fast enough to get the data out of it.
The 9600 Pro is barely a step up from your previous card.

If you wish to see a good jump in performance you'll want to look into at least the X800 series, or HD3850 (though this option is a bit overkill and is limited by the rest of the system).

Col: the 6600 GT is a fairly slow card, it's still a bottleneck. Overclocking will see very minimal increases in performance overall, Look into something like a 6800 GT 7800 GS or 7900 GS if truely want see a performance increase. You also don't mention what CPU you have, do you have a Sempron 3000+ or an Athlon 64 3000+? If you have the Sempron, that's also a huge bottleneck, Semprons were in the same class as the old Intel Celeron's (which pretty much sucked for gaming)

AnorakNeil
April 25th, 2008, 02:54 PM
Hmmmm,

I'm still a bit confused about what I need to upgrade. :confused:

If TRS 2006 recommends 1GB of RAM and a 128MB graphics card, then surely this would be enough to run the program without any problems.

Do you think a PCI graphics card would solve any problems?

Thanks.

GP_38-2
April 25th, 2008, 03:39 PM
lol that'd be even worse

Regardless of the recommendations programs take more than what's just listed on the box. This is true for Trainz and any other game out there. It is recommended that you have 1GB RAM and a 128MB video card, however to run well Trainz really does need 2GB RAM and a 256MB video card (a good 256MB video card).

In your particular case the biggest bottleneck is that old 64MB video card (I'll go out on a limb and say either a Radeon 7000 or 7500). A good boost in performance will come from an X800 GTO/Pro/XL/XT/XT PE or HD3850 all are AGP 8x so there will be a slight drop in performance (due to your current motherboard limitations. However, there will be a very noticeable difference from the old 64MB card.

After the video card an upgrade in RAM might be in order. Windows XP on it's own usually takes around 512MB RAM so that leaves around 512MB for Trainz and I've seen Trainz take up to 1GB in heavy situations.

EDIT: ok here's some comparisons to get an idea how slow each card is
Radeon 7500 (GPU 290mhz, Memory 230mhz DDR 460mhz effective) vs X800 GTO (GPU 400mhz, Memory 490mhz DDR 980mhz effective)
http://www.gpureview.com/show_cards.php?card1=239&card2=356
A huge difference in raw GPU/memory speeds as well as pixel pipeline count. The more pixel pipelines the better. The 7500 has 2 the X800 GTO has 12

X800 GTO (GPU 400mhz, Memory 490mhz DDR 980mhz effective) vs X800 XL (GPU 400mhz, Memory 490mhz DDR 980mhz effective)
http://www.gpureview.com/show_cards.php?card1=52&card2=356
What makes the difference between the X800 GTO and the X800 XL is pixel pipelines, the more the better. The X800 GTO has 12 and the X800 XL has 16

X800 XL (GPU 400mhz, Memory 490mhz DDR 980mhz effective) vs X800 XT (GPU 500mhz, Memory 500mhz DDR 1000mhz effective)
http://www.gpureview.com/show_cards.php?card1=52&card2=46
The only real difference here is raw clock speeds, giving the X800 XT better performance

X800 XT (GPU 500mhz, Memory 500mhz DDR 1000mhz effective) vs X800 XT PE (GPU 520mhz, Memory 560mhz DDR 1120mhz effective)
http://www.gpureview.com/show_cards.php?card1=39&card2=46
Again not a huge difference, but again the X800 XT PE clock speeds are higher and give it an edge over the X800 XT

X800 XT PE (GPU 520mhz, Memory 560mhz DDR 1120mhz effective) vs X850 XT (GPU 520mhz, Memory 540mhz DDR 1120mhz effective)
http://www.gpureview.com/show_cards.php?card1=59&card2=39
The X800 XT PE actually is a bit faster than the X850 XT

X850 XT (GPU 520mhz, Memory 540mhz DDR 1120mhz effective) vs X850 XT PE (GPU 540mhz, Memory 590mhz DDR 1180mhz effective)
http://www.gpureview.com/show_cards.php?card1=59&card2=57
Basically at the time AGP came to an end (it's dead basically almost no-one makes a new card in AGP) the X850 XT PE was the best one could get.

X850 XT PE (GPU 540mhz, Memory 590mhz DDR 1180mhz effective) vs HD3850 (GPU 668mhz, Memory 828mhz DDR 1656mhz effective)
http://www.gpureview.com/show_cards.php?card1=550&card2=57
Then there's this monster. Unlike nVidia, ATI has chosen to continue supporting AGP, but I wouldn't hold my breath on it continuing for long.

And for good measure:
Radeon 7500 (GPU 290mhz, Memory 230mhz DDR 460mhz effective) vs ATI Radeon 9600 (GPU 400mhz, Memory 300mhz DDR 600mhz effective)
http://www.gpureview.com/show_cards.php?card1=75&card2=239
Obviously the Radeon 9600 will be better than the 7500 but it's a very small step up and isn't worth the cash in my opinion

ATI Radeon 9600 (GPU 400mhz, Memory 300mhz DDR 600mhz effective) vs X800 GTO (GPU 400mhz, Memory 490mhz DDR 980mhz effective)
http://www.gpureview.com/show_cards.php?card1=75&card2=356
yeah it ain't pretty, even the lowly GTO (still a good card in its time) gives the Radeon 9600 a good floor wiping

AnorakNeil
April 25th, 2008, 04:52 PM
Hello again.

Thanks GP_38-2 for all your time and help. That's cleared things up for me quite a lot.

I've had a good look at the comparisons you've taken the time to post and I've located a new ATI Club 3D Radeon X800 XL card on eBay, for a reasonable price.

I understand that the card won't perform to it's full potential due to the specifications of my PC, but I trust it will stop the stuttering and pausing problems, and enable me to increase some of the sliders in the options section.

I'll probably also increase the memory to 2GB, which would be the maximum allowed for my PC.

Thanks again for all your time and help.

:)

johnwhelan
April 25th, 2008, 05:19 PM
Hello again.

Thanks GP_38-2 for all your time and help. That's cleared things up for me quite a lot.

I've had a good look at the comparisons you've taken the time to post and I've located a new ATI Club 3D Radeon X800 XL card on eBay, for a reasonable price.

I understand that the card won't perform to it's full potential due to the specifications of my PC, but I trust it will stop the stuttering and pausing problems, and enable me to increase some of the sliders in the options section.

I'll probably also increase the memory to 2GB, which would be the maximum allowed for my PC.

Thanks again for all your time and help.

:)

If you have a look here

http://forums.auran.com/trainz/showthread.php?t=17294&highlight=benchmark

That will give you some performance figures for comparison. Trainz is open ended which translated means it's too easy to build a route or loco that requires far more than the suggested requirements on the box.

If you can take the memory to 2.5 gigs that's about the optimum for Trainz, 2 gigs for Trainz and .5 gigs for the operating system.

Cheerio John

john259
April 26th, 2008, 03:16 AM
An nVidia 7600GT 256MB video board will cope with all but the most demanding of layouts, provided all the other aspects of the computer are adequate (for example, at least 1GB of main memory with Windows XP or 2GB with Vista). This board is still available in AGP form.

When choosing a video board, check that your power supply and cabinet ventilation are adequate. Powerful video boards use a lot of power and give off a lot of heat.

Tom's Hardware Guide has a very useful list of video boards in descending order of how powerful they are here (http://www.tomshardware.co.uk/Gaming-Graphic-Guide,review-30439-8.html).

Hope this helps, John

ColPrice2002
April 26th, 2008, 07:38 AM
Last thought before you sapend money !

Try changing the "resource memory" setting nowyou have more ram - experiment.

I found that changing it to 256 made a big difference

(Thanks for the other replies - yes, I have the Athlon 3000+ - not the celeron)

Cheers,

Colin

SixthDoctor
October 28th, 2009, 01:26 AM
If you have the Sempron, that's also a huge bottleneck, Semprons were in the same class as the old Intel Celeron's (which pretty much sucked for gaming)

Oh no...

This is such bad news for me! :(

I HAVE a Celeron CPU! (it is 2.80 GHz, but, still, I KNEW Celeron was bad news!)

I also have a Radeon 9200 GFX card. If I get a better CPU, will I need a better GFX card to go with it?

john259
October 28th, 2009, 02:10 AM
If I get a better CPU, will I need a better GFX card to go with it?
A faster CPU will work with an old graphics board and vice versa. However, you might want to consider upgrading the graphics at some point as that also has a very significant effect on Trainz performance.

John

Gandalf0444
October 28th, 2009, 02:02 PM
An nVidia 7600GT 256MB video board will cope with all but the most demanding of layouts, provided all the other aspects of the computer are adequate (for example, at least 1GB of main memory with Windows XP or 2GB with Vista). This board is still available in AGP form.

When choosing a video board, check that your power supply and cabinet ventilation are adequate. Powerful video boards use a lot of power and give off a lot of heat.

Tom's Hardware Guide has a very useful list of video boards in descending order of how powerful they are here (http://www.tomshardware.co.uk/Gaming-Graphic-Guide,review-30439-8.html).

Hope this helps, John
I would recommend a 512MB card rather then 256... the 7600 series 256MB AGP cards burn out rather quickly(like mine has) I would highly recommend a Nvidia 7600GS 512MB from BFG Tech that is factory overclocked. I had a huge increase in FPS from a 256 of the same card(except not OCed)

SuperFudd
October 28th, 2009, 02:32 PM
AnorakNeil,

Going from 64M to 256M will make a big difference. Also any graphics card with 256M has got to be allot newer/better than any 64M card. Hold off on more system RAM until you see how the card change works. Since you have ATI I sugest you stay with ATI as changing to Nvidea can be messy driver wise.
It would also help to go to TS2009. Much smoother.
As mentioned before, be sure your power supply and case cooling can handle the new card.
In case you did not know, you MUST stay with AGP cards with that main board. I suspect having only x4 rather than x8 M.B. won't be a real problem. x8 cards should work fine on an x4 main board.

johnwhelan
October 28th, 2009, 05:56 PM
Of course if you go to TS2009 or TS2010 then because of the DXT compression that effectively quadruples your graphic card memory.

Cheerio John

SixthDoctor
October 30th, 2009, 09:37 PM
*jaw drops*

I wish I had known about that before I'd purchased Trainz: The Complete Collection!

ckthomson
October 31st, 2009, 07:13 AM
I would recommend a 512MB card rather then 256... the 7600 series 256MB AGP cards burn out rather quickly(like mine has) I would highly recommend a Nvidia 7600GS 512MB from BFG Tech that is factory overclocked. I had a huge increase in FPS from a 256 of the same card(except not OCed)

I haven't had a chance to try the AGP-Based Nvidia GF7600 cards (my AGP-based systems aren't worth that kind of pay-out), but I have a BFG Tech PCI-E GF7600GT/OC in my "other" PCI-E based system which does a fine job of running Trainz and many other games I've thrown at it, and has shown no signs of burning out yet.

In fact, that card does a LOT better on some games than my MSI Geforce 9500 GS that I have installed in my "main" machine.

Gandalf0444
October 31st, 2009, 09:25 AM
I haven't had a chance to try the AGP-Based Nvidia GF7600 cards (my AGP-based systems aren't worth that kind of pay-out), but I have a BFG Tech PCI-E GF7600GT/OC in my "other" PCI-E based system which does a fine job of running Trainz and many other games I've thrown at it, and has shown no signs of burning out yet.

In fact, that card does a LOT better on some games than my MSI Geforce 9500 GS that I have installed in my "main" machine.
The BFG cards are top of the line(because they are all overclocked from the factory, and easily overclockible) Not to mention each card has a lifetime or 10 year warranty depending the type of card etc. So it is very worth the money, and newegg has a BFG Tech 7600GS 512MB for very cheap....and since it was the biggest and best card I could find for AGP for a reasonable price it was a no brainier. Meanwhile my previous card(256MB 7600GS) burned out within 2 years of getting it(not from BFG) so it could have just been an unlucky card, but regardless the new card gave me a boost of 6-10fps over the 256MB.