I'm looking to build a new PC. I play almost exclusively Clausewitz games. What should I look for?

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Geofferic

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I assume that the fastest possible processor is the main concern, but how much RAM should I am for? Will 64 gig show any performance increase over 32 gig? I realize the current gen games don't care too much about the video card, but what should I look for in future-proofing?

Almost everything else I play is also a grand strategy or simulation game, so I doubt that the top end graphics card will be of use to me regardless, so I'm more looking to dump money into things that will give me the best possible Clausewitz experience.
 

AndrewT

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I don't think any of the PDS games will use more than about 8gb of system memory, so 16gb would be plenty. However you have CSL which can use all 16gb and more if you have a lot of mods and assets.

For CPU single-core speed is more useful than multiple cores; there are few games that can make significant use of more than about 4 cores.

The GPU is probably the most important factor though.
 

Minchandre

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The GPU is probably the most important factor though.
For Paradox games? Absolutely not.

Single-core CPU speed is the most important. Paradox games are much more computational intensive than they are graphically intensive.
 

EU3NOOB

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I assume that the fastest possible processor is the main concern, but how much RAM should I am for? Will 64 gig show any performance increase over 32 gig? I realize the current gen games don't care too much about the video card, but what should I look for in future-proofing?

Almost everything else I play is also a grand strategy or simulation game, so I doubt that the top end graphics card will be of use to me regardless, so I'm more looking to dump money into things that will give me the best possible Clausewitz experience.
My advice? Get the best system you can afford. Buying to game spec is dumb, especially Paradox games, because if you can't afford a system that can run Paradox games, there's more wrong in your life than a new PC can fix.

And as for RAM? While AndrewT is right, Paradox games rarely need more than 8GB, get as much as you can afford. There's no harm in having "too much" aside from price. Of course don't buy RAM at the expense of the CPU and GPU, but if there's an affordable system with 64GBs of RAM that's a screamer (hint: most systems with that much RAM are screamers), then buy it.
 

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For Paradox games? Absolutely not.

Single-core CPU speed is the most important. Paradox games are much more computational intensive than they are graphically intensive.
They use the GPU for some calculation tasks that you might expect the CPU to be used for, precisely to take some load off the CPU.
 

cnwi

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the CPU is VASTLY more important than the GPU for PDX games, don't believe what the PDX employee (?) says above; you want the highest single-core speed as possible; any current, decent CPU will have more cores than what the game uses anyways.

The best CPU you can get for that matter is a 9900K (or KS). AMD CPUs are more competitive currently but because your criteria is single-core speed for PDX games, you want Intel.
 

blackninja9939

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the CPU is VASTLY more important than the GPU for PDX games, don't believe what the PDX employee (?) says above; you want the highest single-core speed as possible; any current, decent CPU will have more cores than what the game uses anyways.

The best CPU you can get for that matter is a 9900K (or KS). AMD CPUs are more competitive currently but because your criteria is single-core speed for PDX games, you want Intel.
The games (at least newest ones) create worker threads for each logical core as well as multiple other threads for rendering and audio and more so its a very false statement to say you can have more cpu cores than we use. By default we are already having more threads than you've got logical cores unless you have a huge number, in which case we do clamp the number of worker threads we make.

A strong single cpu is good for our games as whilst we do a lot of pre-calculations and AI updates etc in parallel the execution of those must be performed in serial to not get crashes and for MP stability, so the main update loop benefits from a better single core speed, but having multiple cores will improve things as your going to do all of our pre-calculations etc. faster to let you get to the main update which will bring down your daily tick time.
 

Geofferic

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The games (at least newest ones) create worker threads for each logical core as well as multiple other threads for rendering and audio and more so its a very false statement to say you can have more cpu cores than we use. By default we are already having more threads than you've got logical cores unless you have a huge number, in which case we do clamp the number of worker threads we make.

A strong single cpu is good for our games as whilst we do a lot of pre-calculations and AI updates etc in parallel the execution of those must be performed in serial to not get crashes and for MP stability, so the main update loop benefits from a better single core speed, but having multiple cores will improve things as your going to do all of our pre-calculations etc. faster to let you get to the main update which will bring down your daily tick time.
So do you have any idea how many cores I should be aiming for?
 

blackninja9939

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So do you have any idea how many cores I should be aiming for?
I've got 6 cores which translates to 12 logical ones with hyperthreading turned on. Not had any issues with that setup so far for me, I imagine you could do 4 cores which gives you 8 with hyperthreading and also be perfectly fine. Any more than that is gonna be diminishing returns I would imagine.
 

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I've got 6 cores which translates to 12 logical ones with hyperthreading turned on. Not had any issues with that setup so far for me, I imagine you could do 4 cores which gives you 8 with hyperthreading and also be perfectly fine. Any more than that is gonna be diminishing returns I would imagine.
Thanks, I really appreciate your input (and everyone else's!)!
 

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They use the GPU for some calculation tasks that you might expect the CPU to be used for, precisely to take some load off the CPU.
Interesting; I didn't know that Paradox games were GPU accelerated. If so, I'd add to the OP to make sure they got an Nvidia card, then (the AMD GPU acceleration API is...lacking).

Still, as blackninja says, incredibly large portions of the code need to be done serially and so there's only so much parallelization that can be done, whether with CPU multithreading or GPU acceleration.
 

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You should of course get an SSD, especially if you want to play EU 4 or CK 2 since those two loads very slowly.
 

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You could also run Linux in order to get faster loading times than what you get on Windows
That is generally only startup due to how Windows and OSX/Linux handle opening individual files for reading purposes, does depend on the game but a few I've heard of that a we've made are faster in Windows for the run time.
 

Nakkivene

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I just upgraded from my old I5 4670 to Ryzen 3600x and the improvement in performance is noticeable, especially in Stellaris. 16gb of ram because ram is cheap. No need to upgrade GPU because nothing I play requires a top-of-the-line gpu.

Mobo, memory and processor ended up being around 400€.
 

Celdur

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the CPU is VASTLY more important than the GPU for PDX games, don't believe what the PDX employee (?) says above; you want the highest single-core speed as possible; any current, decent CPU will have more cores than what the game uses anyways.

The best CPU you can get for that matter is a 9900K (or KS). AMD CPUs are more competitive currently but because your criteria is single-core speed for PDX games, you want Intel.
Actually the AMD Ryzen 3600 is only like 2% "slower" than the intel 9900k OCd, faster against a 9900k non-oc. I would recommend the 3600x since its even faster, matching the 9900k on equally optimized games. If you want some future proofing the 3700x is not that much more expensive for 8 cores / 16 threads and single core boosts also matching the 9900k. I personally have the 3800x and blaze through PDX games now, even late game. Have friends with Intel CPUs and its indistinguishable, but i spent less money and have more cores.
 

Nakkivene

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Sep 29, 2018
547
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  • Hearts of Iron IV: Death or Dishonor
  • BATTLETECH
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  • Cities: Skylines - After Dark
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  • BATTLETECH: Season pass
  • Teleglitch: Die More Edition
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  • BATTLETECH: Heavy Metal
  • Hearts of Iron IV: La Resistance
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  • Stellaris - Path to Destruction bundle
  • Imperator: Rome
  • Hearts of Iron IV: Expansion Pass
  • Stellaris: Megacorp
  • Stellaris: Synthetic Dawn
  • Victoria 2: Heart of Darkness
  • Victoria 2: A House Divided
  • Victoria 2
  • The Showdown Effect
  • Magicka
  • Knights of Pen and Paper +1 Edition
  • Dungeonland
  • Crusader Kings II
Firing up Stellaris MP now with 17 players. Let's see if the computer upgrade was truly worthwhile!
 

BlueTico

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I may be in the minority but I've had better luck running on Linux than Mac regardless of specs.