Hardware recommendations

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jlevous
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Hardware recommendations

Postby jlevous » Sun Mar 03, 2013 6:05 am

Just wondering what hardware everyone is using. Specifically those of you who are building prisons with large populations (ie more than 200 prisoners). Many people have indicated that they are playing PA on a laptop. I've found that the game is painfully slow on my Thinkpad T410 which has the following configuration:

Lenovo T410 Thinkpad
Intel Core i5 M540 @ 2.53GHz (using integrated graphics)
G.Skill 8GB (2x4) DDR3 1333 (PC3-10600), timings 9-9-9-24, latency 9
dual booting 64bit Win7pro and Linux Mint Lisa on dual OCZ Agility3 120GB SATA3 SSDs

On my desktop, PA drops to 10fps or less once I have more than 150 prisoners. On the up-side, the memory leak seems to be much less of a problem. Or perhaps I should say that it seems to have slowed a bit. Nonetheless, I wonder how my desktop compares to some of the machines that you all are using. My desktop configuration:


Shuttle SH67H3 (Intel H67 North Bridge) Intel Socket H2(LGA1155)
Intel Core i5-2500 @3.30GHz
Patriot G2-Series 32GB (4x8) DDR3 1333 (PC3-10666), timings 9-9-9-24, latency 9
EVGA GeForce GTX 550Ti PCIex 2.0x16, 1GB GDDR5 4356MHz, 951MHz Core, 1903MHz Shader
dual OCZ Agility3 120GB SATA3 SSDs in RAID0, one Segate Momentus 3200GB 7200RPM SATA2 HDD
dual Samsung SyncMaster 204B 20.1" standard aspect LCD monitors on dual head DVI ports from GeForce
64bit Win7pro

and just in case its relevant: I launch PA from the HDD, but the save game file is on the SSD array

If this topic has been addressed before, please point me to the existing conversation and delete this post.
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VoiD88
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Postby VoiD88 » Sun Mar 03, 2013 9:35 am

I don't really think that the difference between a HDD and a SSD will matter much in Prison Architect, it doesn't really have hi-end textures that require excessive loading from the harddisk. What matters much more in PA is the CPU (at least in the current Alpha stage). The reason for that, and for the fps drops you are experiencing is that it is not a game, it's an Alpha. Which means that the code has not been optimized in any way yet. Most programs run horribly slow even on really powerful machines in this stage of development.

But to answer your question, I'm running it on a desktop-PC with a
Intel Core i5 750 @2,66 GHz,
8GB RAM,
GeForce GTS 250 and
Windows 7 Pro 64bit.
And I'm seeing fps drops as well as lags in the pathfinding of individual entities starting from 100 prisoners upwards. Don't worry, fixing that is definitely something Introversion will do (in Beta stage perhaps).
Life is NOT like a box of chocolates, it's more like a jar of jalapeños: What you do today might burn your a** tomorrow.
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Postby jlevous » Sun Mar 03, 2013 5:47 pm

I'm not looking for a fix to some perceived problem, just wondering how people are able to populate large prisons while managing to keep the game at a playable frame rate.

I'm well aware that the game is still in alpha, nonetheless, IV has implemented some optimizations in response to comments and issues. I'm actually quite surprised how well the game performs on my modest hardware and has since the first alpha release. I've also noted that PA never loads my CPU more than 25% and my graphics card runs at barely more than an idle. To me, this suggests that most of the performance issues will be addressed by software, rather than hardware, optimizations. Therefore, I would expect that all of us would be experiencing the same slowdowns without regard to hardware. Nonetheless, the number of posts reporting populations in excess of 200 prisoners leads me back to my original wonderment:

Are there any hardware configurations that work particularly good/bad or otherwise for PA?

If not, could anyone who has populations over 200 comment on how PA is performing on their system; and what, if anything, they have done to improve game play with large prison populations?
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VoiD88
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Postby VoiD88 » Sun Mar 03, 2013 7:22 pm

jlevous wrote:I've also noted that PA never loads my CPU more than 25%

Your CPU is a quad core and PA can't access more than one core. So it can't go above 25% even if it "wanted to" :P
Life is NOT like a box of chocolates, it's more like a jar of jalapeños: What you do today might burn your a** tomorrow.

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jlevous
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Postby jlevous » Sun Mar 03, 2013 7:58 pm

Forgive me for not being explicit:

PA never loads any of my CPU cores more than 25%

My point is still that PA does not require great hardware resources, yet some people are reporting the ability to build prisons with very large populations while others find the game unplayable beyond 200 prisoners.

I am simply wondering how that is possible. There are very few configuration settings for PA and very minimal hardware needs.

How and/or why are we not all experiencing the same performance issues?

That is the specific topic that I would like to discuss in this thread.
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Postby Parker22 » Mon Mar 04, 2013 7:07 pm

I have about 200 prisoners, and similar sort of specs.

It runs ok. The only time it gets bogged down is when lots of instructions are generated. So building a new building for example. But if I reduce the number of workers, again it's ok. I have about 8-10
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Postby DHKold » Tue Mar 05, 2013 10:54 am

Well, currently I use this:

- Intel i7-3820
- GeForce 660Ti
- 16G Quad-Channel 2133Mhz
- SSD Corsair Force Series 3

Never had any slowering :twisted:
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Postby jlevous » Wed Mar 06, 2013 2:42 am

DHKold wrote:Well, currently I use this:

- Intel i7-3820
- GeForce 660Ti
- 16G Quad-Channel 2133Mhz
- SSD Corsair Force Series 3

Never had any slowering :twisted:


What size maps are you building on and how many prisoners do you have?
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Postby Mas Tnega » Wed Mar 06, 2013 4:32 pm

It would really help if there were a specific prison to load and leave alone for a little while to better quantify what works, what doesn't and how much it doesn't.
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Postby Parker22 » Wed Mar 06, 2013 6:57 pm

Mas Tnega wrote:It would really help if there were a specific prison to load and leave alone for a little while to better quantify what works, what doesn't and how much it doesn't.

That's true. Can we swap save files yet? Would be interesting to see other prisons/twisted minds
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Postby jlevous » Wed Mar 06, 2013 10:02 pm

Mas Tnega wrote:It would really help if there were a specific prison to load and leave alone for a little while to better quantify what works, what doesn't and how much it doesn't.


I agree. A standard test prison would be a great help to assess the performance of various hardware configurations.

If we cannot upload a save file here, perhaps we should add an article to the wiki.

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