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Author Topic: SSE Pre-install Guide  (Read 12313 times)

Captain Spencer

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SSE Pre-install Guide
« on: August 25, 2010, 19:34:51 »

Hi all,

With Ship Simulator Extremes looming around the corner it is now vital that your computer is performing as best it can, to ensure you get the best out of SSE.

The guide below will list you through some things you need to check and do before installing the game. Remember though, this is a guide, you do not have to follow it, or even do anything suggested in it :)

Here are a few things that will be in the guide:

  • Ensure all graphics drivers are up to date
  • Ensure all Windows updates are installed
  • General PC maintenance
  • Guide for running Ship Simulator Extremes

So, let's get on with it then!!


Ensure all graphics drivers are up to date

With Ship Simulator Extremes being such a graphically intensive game, it is important that you have the latest drivers for your graphics card. Drivers not only ensure the most stable operating of your system, but they can also provide small performance boosts in particular games.

To find out what graphics card you have in your system simply follow the steps outlined below..

1. Firstly, if you're running a windows computer, press and hold the Windows key, and then whilst continuing to press it press the Pause button on your keyboard. This should bring up a window with a title named "System".
2. Now look for a link or button that reads.."Device Manager". A new window should open with a list of the types of devices found in your computer.
3. Under the "Display Adapters" section, click the little "+" icon, and you will see the name of your graphics card. For example, mine reads.. "NVIDIA GeForce GTX 260".

Now that you have the name of your graphics adapter we need to download the most recent driver for your card. The links below should help most people with their graphics card, although if you have a different card made by a different company, simply google the name of the graphics card and you should be able to find the most recent driver.

NVidia Graphics Cards - LINK TO DRIVERS

ATI Graphics Card - LINK TO DRIVERS

Intel Chipsets - LINK TO DRIVERS
(Note: Intel chipsets may not be capable of running SSE)

Remember to download and install the right driver for your card, and always perform a reboot after installation has completed.


Ensure all Windows updates are installed

For Windows users you must ensure all updates are installed. Sometimes games and programs utilise the components of certain coding libraries to run them. For Vista and Windows 7 users this may not apply as Windows updates itself automatically, but best to perform a manual update anyway, just to be on the safe side :)

To check windows for updates (XP Only):

1. Open internet Explorer.

2. Point your mouse to "Safety" and then "Windows Update". This should then open the Windows update website.

3. Now click on the "Express" button. Windows will now check if you have the latest updates.

4. If any updates are found, Windows should automatically install them for you.


To check Windows for updates (Vista & Win 7):

1. Browse to "Start > Control Panel". Once a new window has opened double click on "Windows Update".

2. A new window should appear, and windows may report it is up to date. This is not always the case, but click the "Check for updates" anyway, which is usually found in the left hand column at the top.

3. If Windows has found any updates it will automatically download and install them for you.

NOTE: Remember to reboot your computer after installing Windows updates. The computer may ask you to anyway.


General PC Maintenance

As far as PC maintenance is concerned there is many ways in which you can tune up your computer to make it run faster. You may not always gain noticeable speed differences, but the quick guide below should ensure your computer runs a little better.


File Defragmentation

The main cause of computer speed issues is usually related to slow hardware. However, there are some tools we can use to keep your computer healthy. One of these is called Disk Defragmenter. This neat little program will make sure that all your files are operating normally.

Vista and Windows 7 should automatically run Disk Defragmenter periodically, but I would run it anyway :)

To run Disk Defrag simply follow the instructions below, or see Carl's PC maintenance topic here.

1. Click "Start" and point to "All Programs > Accessories > System Tools". Then click on "Disk Defragmenter".

2. When the window opens, click on the "C:" drive, and then click "Defragment".

3. This may take a while, so go and do something else while it is running. Remember to check back every 5 minutes or so, to see if there were any problems.


Disk Cleanup

Your hard drive may also becoming clogged up with files it doesn't need. To solve this we can run another handy little tool called "Disk Cleanup". Follow the steps below or again follow the guide by DJM (Carl) above.

1. Click "Start" and point to "All Programs > Accessories > System Tools". Then click on "Disk Cleanup".

2. Select the "C:" and then click "Ok". The tool will now scan your computer to see what files it can get rid of.

3. Once the tool has searched, it will give you list of tick boxes. To be on the safe side only tick these boxes below:

  • Recycle Bin
  • Temporary Folder

You may select more boxes, but if you're not sure what they are simply leave them.

NOTE: The Disk Cleanup tool will delete the files in the places you checked. If you would like to save any files in the Recycle bin for example remember to Restore them before running the tool.


Guide for running Ship Simulator Extremes

This guide will quickly touch on the best things to do before you run the game. This will ensure that you free up any system resources currently being used.

Note: This is a recommendation only. The true performance of your computer depends on the installed hardware and specification of the computer in question.

Also when installing the game, remember to run the game as an administrator. To do this simply right click the setup file and click "Run as administrator". This applies to both Windows Vista and Windows 7 users only.

Remember to disable any anti virus programs before you install too, but don't forget to enable them again afterwards!

To ensure that your computer isn't running any programs it doesn't need follow the steps below.

  • Close any open windows you no longer need
  • If you are running any programs such as MSN messenger close them too.
  • Close other programs such as printer software, camera/scanner software, media players, word processing programs, email programs and other programs that will take up resources on your system.
  • Perform a fresh reboot of your computer, especially if you've been using it all day. Then perform the step mentioned above.
  • As before, make sure you have the latest drivers and updates for your computer and it's hardware.
  • Get excited about playing ship simulator extremes  ;D

That concludes the guide for the moment guys, hopefully it will help some of you make the best use out of your computer as possible, and enable you all to run Ship Simulator as fast as possible. More will be added to the guide as time goes by :)

Please remember though that this IS only a guide, and should not be taken too seriously. They are only my own personal recommendations and have not been put forward by VSTEP in any way.

If you have any problems when trying to run the game please register your license key in your forum profile and post your issue in the SSE Technical Support section, where both myself and other members of staff will be happy to help.


Important Information about the minimum computer requirements

Here is a good performance comparison of graphics cards:
http://service.futuremark.com/hardware/
The minimum card needed to play the game is a Nvidia 8800 GT, with a score of 6000. So please look at your own graphics card score before posting messages about a too low performance.

SSExtremes is very demanding on the graphics card. That's what's needed to show the nice ocean and other graphics details. Most missions run fine at 15 fps, because the ships don't move that fast as say racing cars.

You can increase performance by running at lower resolution and with lower AA and AF settings on the graphics card, and lowering the graphics features in-game. The default in-game graphics quality settings are pretty high, you can easily lower them.

These are actually to be used when the game runs slower than expected.

1. If your 3D card has a good score (above 6000) on the 3DMark06 graph, and the game runs very slow, plase install and run the 3DMark06 benchmark on your PC. If the score on your PC is much lower than the "official" score in the graph, there may be a hardware issue with your 3D card.

2. Similarly, to test if the other components of your PC are running fine, please install and run PerformanceTest and compare your result with the other ones with the same spec, reported on their site.

Most importantly, enjoy ship simulator! :)

Warm Regards,
Adam
« Last Edit: September 03, 2010, 17:59:41 by Captain Spencer »
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