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Computer considerations

Discussion in 'Off Topic - All other stuff here' started by Zed, Aug 27, 2021.

  1. Zed

    Zed VR Simming w/Reverb Gold Contributor

    Apr 4, 2017
    +1,008 / 4 / -0
    My Motion Simulator:
    2DOF, DC motor, JRK
    Hey guys, this was an eye-opener for me about computer performance so thought I’d post it in case others weren’t aware either. It’s trivially easy to cripple all your high zoot parts just by putting them in the wrong slots.

    I got lucky last year and snagged a 3090 which has a PCIe 4 bus interface. My old mobo only had PCIe 3 so was choking available bandwidth by a factor of 2. I was also running with 3.2 GHz DRAM. In the never-ending quest for higher frame rates and more smoothness, I upgraded to a new mobo, CPU, m.2 drive, and memory. The new mobo runs the Z590 chipset.

    As part of building and provisioning the system it got obvious there are big considerations for maximum performance. Everything was interdependent and that’s the crux of this post. The m.2 drive I got runs at the new higher speed PCIe 4 spec but only in two of the 4 m.2 slots. Put it in the wrong slot and it slows to PCIe 3 — and so does the graphics card. Put it in other slots and it disables some SATA ports and slows other slots. Most of this is silent so you have to deep dive the manual or benchmark to know. The manual had a number of tables in it that show what happens depending on what slots you populate.

    You can buy fast parts but totally cripple the system and waste that performance if parts go in the wrong slots because bandwidth out of the chipset gets shared among the parts on that data channel. It’s unfortunately as simple as just putting an m.2 drive in one slot vs. another.

    I used to just put parts where most convenient (except for that first PCIe slot for video). Now with m.2 drives that gets more complicated since they are so fast and crowd other devices for bandwidth. Which slots get filled matters especially if you are using anything PCIe 4.

    But the end result is worth it. I did this to push VR as hard as possible in FS2020. FS2020 is spreading out over more CPUs so bandwidth to memory and graphics is more important. Now with the system running like it should, graphics are much smoother. I still get occasional stutters but that’s going to be something else. Under steady state, head motion looking around is really smooth. It was a very noticeable change from the same video card running on a PCIe 3 slot and the mobo equipped with 3.2 GHz DRAM. The PCIe 4 m.2 drive has Windows on one partition and FS2020 on another. It’s the same drive, though, but the only way I could keep them separate but both on the fastest drive. The CPU change was basically a wash with the new one ranked slightly better in benches. Had to do it though for PCIe 4 support.

    Like I said there are still some stutters occasionally. I think that is just the program itself. But overall it was a very big and satisfying improvement. Very worth it for me. But I was very surprised just how easy it would have been to build the exact same parts into a significantly slower system just by arranging things slightly differently.

    Anyone building a system now should pay particular attention how interdependent these components are and how just populating certain locations on the mobo can completely negate the advantages of those fast new parts.
    • Informative Informative x 1
  2. Ads Master

    Ads Master

    +0 / 0 / -0
  3. Gadget999

    Gadget999 Well-Known Member

    Dec 27, 2015
    +307 / 8 / -0
    My Motion Simulator:
    2DOF, DC motor, Arduino, 6DOF
    i have a 16 core processor(s) 64 gb ram and an SSD drive

    made a massive difference to the pc

    most of the time I use RF2 and a Grforce 1050 ti

    it seems RF2 is not that heavy on graphics performance

    i am tempted to fit a new graphics card, waiting to see how the bitcoin / mining market affects them