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    synaesthesia's Avatar
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    Sims Discover

    So out of interest, does anyone have a PC capable of running Discover so it doesn't run like a sack of manure?
    Not digging too much, but on an uber powerful DDR3 machine on an I3 processor which is already more powerful than any discrete graphics card under £50 - surely someone's missing a trick?

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    It runs fine on my desktop - Dual core E5200, 2 gb ram & ATI 5400. Also fine on laptop - Toshiba Satellite Pro i3-2310M & 4 gb ram so perhaps you have a problem unrelated to the machine?
    (It is awful on my netbook!)

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    Smooth as a nut on my machine.

    Windows XP 32-Bit
    Pentium Duel Core E5200 @ 2.50GHz
    3.00GB of DDR2 RAM
    ATI Radion HD 3400 running duel monitors.

    Even if its stretched across both my screens to fill both, it's still runs nicely.

    We installed it onto a couple of VM's for testing as well. It's sluggish at best but I would say it's still usable.
    Last edited by Rawns; 23rd June 2011 at 02:04 PM.

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    synaesthesia's Avatar
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    Out of interst can I enquire as to what OS you're running?
    I know full well XP is going to be holding an i3 back considerably so wonder if newer OS's will make all the difference. For a start, the onboard graphics capability of an i3 is beyond that of an ati 5400 or dual core pentiums. Trying to find out if it's worth buying a discrete graphics cards for those that need to use Discover - so far it would seem a better idea to go win7 if that's the problem, rather than spending money on something that won't actually help.
    The machines they have will run it, just rather slowly, and very importantly we could do without the whining "It's too slow!"

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    Running Windows 7 on all of them.

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    Quote Originally Posted by synaesthesia View Post
    Out of interst can I enquire as to what OS you're running?
    I know full well XP is going to be holding an i3 back considerably so wonder if newer OS's will make all the difference. For a start, the onboard graphics capability of an i3 is beyond that of an ati 5400 or dual core pentiums. Trying to find out if it's worth buying a discrete graphics cards for those that need to use Discover - so far it would seem a better idea to go win7 if that's the problem, rather than spending money on something that won't actually help.
    The machines they have will run it, just rather slowly, and very importantly we could do without the whining "It's too slow!"
    XP on all of our machines. We tested it on a (new) Win 7 laptop too and the performance was also good.

    Win 7 Pro 64-Bit
    Intel i5 Quad Core
    4GB Memory
    Intel DH Graphics

    I would think that a dedicated GPU will be a better idea then an OS change as it would take less stress off the CPU where I would assume a newer OS would add more. Maybe invest in a single GPU and stick it in your PC to see how discover runs before and after? You could pick up a decent one for 30 quid or so.
    Last edited by Rawns; 23rd June 2011 at 12:04 PM.

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    Sivadam's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by synaesthesia View Post
    So out of interest, does anyone have a PC capable of running Discover so it doesn't run like a sack of manure?
    Yep!. Quite a lot.
    It has been speeded up quite a lot since the first release of the Field Trial version - just as was promised!
    Now you know why I would not offer a required spec, when pestered here to do so in the earlier days - it was just not that relevant!

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    synaesthesia's Avatar
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    We never ran any trial versions
    Really trying to avoid buying anything for obvious reasons, hence trying to narrow things down first. As said, an i3 is beyond the capability of any (new) card under 30 quid hence why I do wonder if perhaps the Core I series specificaly needs a more modern OS to get the most out of the onboard GPU rather than XP machines which would probably work better with discrete.
    Perhaps our expectations are too high!

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    Quote Originally Posted by synaesthesia View Post
    We never ran any trial versions
    Really trying to avoid buying anything for obvious reasons, hence trying to narrow things down first. As said, an i3 is beyond the capability of any (new) card under 30 quid hence why I do wonder if perhaps the Core I series specificaly needs a more modern OS to get the most out of the onboard GPU rather than XP machines which would probably work better with discrete.
    Perhaps our expectations are too high!
    I can understand not wanting to splash cash, but still fail to see how upgrading to a more power (and visual) hungry O/S will help your Discover performance. It will just put more strain on the on board graphics chip (which is most likely struggling already as you memory and CPU specs seem up to scratch) and require more CPU power to process causing slow down. The i3 and a GPU are two separate things entirely. A powerful PC is not designed to "out-do" a lesser PC with a dedicated graphics card and make it unnecessary. My PC is under-speced compared to yours but the dedicated graphics card makes all the difference. By installing an affordable GPU (This would be more then suitable for the purposes of discover and under £30: Gigabyte G210 512MB GDDR2 DVI VGA HDMI Out PCI-E.. | Ebuyer.com) the graphics load would be compleatly removed from the CPU giving increased system performance as well as a smoother discover experience. My GPU is an ATI Raidon HD 3400 and runs Discover extreamly smoothly. A quick browse on eBay shows that you can get these for £19.99. After all, it's to improve the performance of Discover, not to play Crysis 2 or COD on.

    Aslo, in Capita's Minimum System Requirements document, for Discover it states: "Recommended: Dedicated graphics cardwith the latest drivers installed and not an integrated chipset."
    Last edited by Rawns; 23rd June 2011 at 02:06 PM.

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    synaesthesia's Avatar
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    Those requirements were not including any Core i related chipsets.

    Anyway the comments regarding the OS are clear - if you run anything quicker than a Pentium D on modern chipset motherboards on 7, it *IS* quicker than XP by quite a long way. Regardless of what drivers you wish to source and install, you will never get the benefits of modern hardware. XP cannot correctly handle Core2 chipsets let alone Core i3/5/7 and certainly isn't able to efficiently manage the on die memory controllers or GPU capababilities. The i3 I have in front of me, the new wave "celeron" if you like, has a gaming graphics capability in windows 7 of "5.4". Yet in XP it won't even run half the benchmarks because it doesn't recognise it as anything more than an Intel HD/GMA graphics card.
    You seem to forget that the i3 *IS* a GPU - how is it not linked? As above, XP can't handle that properly. 7 can.

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    AMD Fusion APU Codenamed

    AMD Llano for laptops review: first look | PC Pro blog

    The new range of AMD CPUS (Llano) that are aimed primarily at laptops, but also available for desktop motherboards are going to come in Dual and Quad core models and will incorporate a much more robust built in Graphics chipset. Speculation is that they might be available from next month.

    If the PC Pro blog is correct it seems the raw performance isn't as good as intels i range but for graphics (even without a discrete card) it is significantly better.

    Ideal for this maybe?

    Quote Originally Posted by synaesthesia View Post
    You seem to forget that the i3 *IS* a GPU - how is it not linked?
    True, for comparison the i range only use a tiny part of the CPU for graphics where as about half the entire body of the Llano CPU is dedicated just to that.

    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    EDIT - Also for reference - a desktop PC running Discover under XP which is not a sack of bovine excrement:

    HP Compaq dc7800

    CPU is Dual Core 2.83 Ghz
    2 GB RAM (2 x 1 GB)
    ATI FireGL Graphics Card (512 Mb)
    Last edited by superfletch; 23rd June 2011 at 02:39 PM. Reason: multiple edits

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    Not overly impressed with Discover so far to be honest. I thought the graphs were going to be much more flexible than they are. Anyone else feel the same?

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    Quote Originally Posted by ajp233 View Post
    Not overly impressed with Discover so far to be honest. I thought the graphs were going to be much more flexible than they are. Anyone else feel the same?
    Nope!
    The Assessment Graphs will be as good as your Assement data setup in AM7!

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    It looks very impressive when first used but it needs a few SIMS polishes, eg show % and remove options not applicable to the school. I gave a demonstration to our pastoral leaders earlier this week and they liked what they saw. Have not managed to sort out the AM7 setups yet and will get back to you when I have.

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    So all this, the power to render life like roads and landscapes rushing past my car at 130mph even as 120 times every second each aspect of the cars dynamics are calculated and updated in response to my inputs in Dirt 3 perhaps, or the vista of hundreds of square miles of landscape lit by a sunset rushing past my plane in X-Plane while the computer performs blade element analysis of laminar airflows over wing surfaces to give me a plane that behaves reasonably accurately, or a maybe level 10 detailed view of the planet Mars requiring 500MB of texture space and then put onto the screen in Orbiter even as it calculates the real time movements of thousands of bodies in the solar system; .. all this power is being used to display ... a ... a ... a ... pie chart. How fantastic is that!

  16. 3 Thanks to pcstru:

    skunk (15th July 2011), superfletch (23rd June 2011), synaesthesia (23rd June 2011)

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