This is a post summarizing some of our answers to several hardware-related questions:
I'd like to clarify the word "mainstream PC". The "mainstream" we refer to, is "mainstream gaming PCs" not "mainstream office PCs" (the SSM2007 is a game, remember?)
Today, "mainstream gaming PC or laptop" usually means:
- Dual Core CPU 2GHz or 2.2GHz for laptops (AMD or Intel, preferably Intel)
- 1-2GB RAM (2GB is better) (or 1GB for laptops)
- 78XX 256MB or equivalent ATI and up. (or 128MB for laptops)
- XP Pro or Vista 32 Bit (not Windows 98, ME, Linux or Mac).
The mainstream gaming PCs are usually more powerful than regular office PCs. If a PC runs Office or any office-related application well, it does not mean that it will run games - especially simulators - well.
In the SSM2007 context that means that if you have an older-technology gaming PC or "office" PC, you may need to compromise on graphical features, etc. Please also note that a newly-bought PC is not necessarily a "mainstream gaming machine" as it may contain many old-technology or cheap components (that's why you paid so little for it <g>).
Remember, modern dual core CPUs run faster and cooler than the most powerful Pentium 4 of 1.5 years ago. You may still be able to buy cheap Pentium 4D (dual) but that is by no means "Core 2 Duo" which contains many architectural changes that make it the fastest today, GHz for GHz. New dual core AMD 64 X2 CPUs are usually 20-30% slower than Intel Core 2 Duo CPUs - GHz for GHz - so take that into consideration as well.
On the other hand, you really don't need a 4GHz monster with 8800GTX 700MB and 4GB RAM to run SSM2007 at full speed.
Our reference system is a modest Core 2 Duo 6400, 2GB RAM, 7800GT 256MB, 500GB SATA1 HD, Win XP Pro 32 bit SP2, and nothing is overclocked. We have in excess of 50fps SUSTAINED with all options maxed up, in the most demanding situations and no stutters at all.
We also have enough reserve resources to add more features without going below these values on this type of PC in the foreseeable future, also considering the new features that we plan for the free future patches.
We have been testing SSM2007 on a reasonable range of PCs and laptops and the result of these tests is summarized in the recommended systems in the "About" section. That covers the technology developments of the last two years. There is a wide range of graphic cards - three generations of Nvidia and ATI card and 1.5 generations of Intel and AMD CPUs. We think we cover quite a lot. More answers on the subject were given above.
Our standard answer to any hardware compatibility and performance questions is very simple:
Whatever is not within the range of the recommended specs which appear in the "About" section, or any "strange"/non-standard configuration like RAM configured in multiples other than 1GB, is not guaranteed - you may even regard it as not supported, to be on the safe side.
Same goes for performance - please do not ask "how much FPS will I have on this or that system". This is a question which is impossible to answer due to the different slider/options preferences somebody might have. We can guarantee maximum performance based on configurations following the guidelines of our recommended systems. Anything else is pure speculation.
An additional item everybody should be aware of: the Graphic Accelerators should support Open GL 1.5 and up and DirectX 9.0c. Anything less than that is not supported.
Is SSM2007(tm) optimized for SLI or Crossfire? : SSM2007 is NOT optimized for SLI or Crossfire. We haven't even tested it with such a configuration yet. There should not be any problems but since we did not perform any tests, we cannot guarantee anything. The reason we "ignored" this special configuration is that SSM2007 does not need extreme graphic solutions in order to run smoothly.
The Space Shuttle Mission 2007(tm) Team