The perfect Factorio computer

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Effection
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The perfect Factorio computer

Post by Effection »

Hey guys!

I bought the game some years ago and played it alot! A few month ago I sold my gaming PC because I wasn‘t interested in playing other games but Factorio.

I really want to play it again and think about getting a cheap PC that handles the game easily. I know the recommended system requirements but I just wanna hear some suggestions concering the „ideal“ Factorio PC.

So guys, is there a cheap solution or do you recommend an high-performance PC.

thanks!

Aeternus
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Re: The perfect Factorio computer

Post by Aeternus »

Factorio benefits from a fast harddrive (autosave on large maps), a lot of graphics memory and system memory. For megabases, a beefy CPU is also useful. Graphics card speed as far as I can tell isn't all that important.

I'd slap together something like:
Ryzen / I7
8 or 16 GB RAM. 8 should suffice, but if you want to futureproof things, double it.
500GB or larger SSD.
Geforce 1070 with 8 GB video RAM. Go with a 1080 if you want to run other highly demanding graphics games.

Rough stats, but that should give you some pointers.

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eradicator
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Re: The perfect Factorio computer

Post by eradicator »

You want to read this: https://www.reddit.com/r/factorio/comme ... ed_fpsups/

Factorio has a high dependance on RAM speed. After that CPU, and if you want HD textures you need lots of video memory (though VRAM requirement might or might not change in 0.17, so it's worth a wait if you can). Going below 16G of RAM in this day and age is...well, let's not get insulting. If it's for factorio only you don't need a huge SSD either, because it just needs to fit OS + factorio + some maps, so even 128G should be more than sufficient.

But it mostly depends on what you want to do:
Do you enjoy the pre-rocket game and restart a new map with new mods once you launched the rocket?
Or do you want to build a 10k SPM factory and push your system to it's limits?
How much money do you want to spend?
Can you build the system yourself, or do you need a pre-assembled one?

zOldBulldog
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Re: The perfect Factorio computer

Post by zOldBulldog »

I have been building my own PCs for decades now and never believed on the split gaming vs regular PC.
I find that a computer that is good for both will last much longer and although it costs more money upfront it costs less in the long run.

So, here are my suggestions:

- Desktop beats laptop if it is viable for your lifestyle. Much more upgradable, powerful and suffers less from heat... for any given cost. For laptops stick to Asus, they are designed to allow upgrades of more components than other brands and it is easier to find spare parts.
- There are many good motherboards brands. Do a search for "best 2018 gaming motherboards" to see which ones are good today.
- A good current CPU. Again, do a search to find what is popular today. Go for a fairly new model but avoid the top of the line as those are always overpriced.
- 32 GB of memory (and the ability to later upgrade to 64 or preferably 128) are a minimum these days.
- Choose a good video card. Absolutely do not rely on the motherboard's video chipset. I prefer Nvidia but there are other good choices.
- You should absolutely use an SSD drive for C:. 512GB minimum, 1TB preferred (and mandatory if it is your only drive).
- I recommend a 3TB D: hard drive. All of your non-gaming software and data goes there. Get one with good performance and (important) good warranty. I would even recommend using two 3GB and use Stablebit's DrivePool (maybe as U:, V:) to establish a mirroring sofware-based D: drive, that way when one goes bad you pull it and keep working until you replace the bad drive. And if you ever need more disk space you just add drives to your D: pool. Disaster prevention, backup, expansion all in one. I consider this a more reliable and flexible solution than RAID (as you don't have the raid controller / motherboard single point of failure).
- Liquid cooling system instead of the cheaper fans even if you don't plan to overclock. It will extend the life of your computer by a lot, especially if you keep windows open in summer or your A/C doesn't quite cool the house enough.
- If you really want to supercharge your gaming (not your case) then setup an E: SSD pool for games, similar to what I described for D:.

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Re: The perfect Factorio computer

Post by SilverShadow »

Aeternus wrote: Ryzen / I7
8 or 16 GB RAM. 8 should suffice, but if you want to futureproof things, double it.
500GB or larger SSD.
Geforce 1070 with 8 GB video RAM. Go with a 1080 if you want to run other highly demanding graphics games.
come on, I'm sure gaming PC that he sold is worse than that
Effection wrote:I sold my gaming PC because I wasn‘t interested in playing other games but Factorio
Effection wrote: think about getting a cheap PC that handles the game
Last edited by SilverShadow on Wed Jul 04, 2018 12:39 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: The perfect Factorio computer

Post by Dergonic »

You may have to focus on 2 points :
- CPU : The higher speed (GHz) and the more IPC is what count. You don't have to care about cores nor hyperthreading. So a good I5 can do the work. I saw some people running on high end I3 with some prety large maps.
- RAM : The higher speed is the best. A size of 8Gb is enough. 16Gb could be interesting for larges maps/lot of mods

In a matter of disk, a small SSD for the OS+Steam+Factorio (let say 256Gb) is way enough.
For the GPU, no need to go to expensive cards. Even a previous generation GeForce 970 is way enough. Il last generation, you can stay in a 1060 ;)

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Re: The perfect Factorio computer

Post by posila »

Dergonic wrote:You don't have to care about cores nor hyperthreading.
That is not entirely true for client computers. One step of rendering, which we call "render preparation" as it collects state of objects visible on screen, is heavily parallelized and blocks update. So the less time render preparation spends the more time in a frame is left for update. For update itself single thread performance is the most important.

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Re: The perfect Factorio computer

Post by Dergonic »

posila wrote:
Dergonic wrote:You don't have to care about cores nor hyperthreading.
That is not entirely true for client computers. One step of rendering, which we call "render preparation" as it collects state of objects visible on screen, is heavily parallelized and blocks update. So the less time render preparation spends the more time in a frame is left for update. For update itself single thread performance is the most important.
Interesting.

What is the load of this step in the rendering process ? Is it a long/heavy step relating to the time spent on each tick ?

I mean. If I have to choose between a I5-8600k (6core/6thread @ 4.3GHz) and a I7-7800K (6core/12thread @4GHz) (expecting same IPC on each). Which one would you advise ? Higher clock or more core/thread ?
I got that in the "render preparation", higher thread is advise. But in the whole tick calculation ?

Thanks

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Re: The perfect Factorio computer

Post by Effection »

Thanks for the answers guys, I do appreciate it.

My previous computer consisted of an i5-4690K and a GTX1070 so it had enough power to run Factorio. Thus it was quiet expensive. Reading all the recommendations I come to the conclusion that I should invest at least 400 - 500 € in order to run Factorio adequately. I must admit it‘s too much only for Factorio. I have an old computer in the cellar with a Core 2 Duo 2,3 Ghz and a GTX770 and Factorio runs but the question is to what extend. With larger factories I‘ll definitely have troubles when it comes to (V)RAM ( + it‘s a 32-bit system).

Factorio on my iPad Pro would be the master solutions 8-)

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Re: The perfect Factorio computer

Post by zOldBulldog »

Effection wrote:Factorio on my iPad Pro would be the master solutions 8-)
I think you can run Factorio on a Mac but wanting to use an iPad for Factorio is like wanting to carry a sofa in a bycicle :lol:

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Re: The perfect Factorio computer

Post by Loewchen »

Effection wrote: With larger factories I‘ll definitely have troubles when it comes to (V)RAM ( + it‘s a 32-bit system
You will not run any factories on a 32-bit system unless you use 0.14 or older.

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Re: The perfect Factorio computer

Post by Zool »

A standard PC nowadays should AT LEAST be the following:
- 8 GB RAM DDR3-2400
- 4Core CPU (at least i3-8100 / 4 x 3,6 Ghz)
- 256GB SSD
- 400W Power Supply
You find such PCs starting at 500-600€ roughly. If the PC is any lower then any of these stats, it looses A LOT of power, if you go beyond these stats, you gain a bit of power. Of course AMD has equivalent stuff, but I have no clue about their actual lineup ;-)

Sure, bigger SSD never hurts, but this is meant as minimum spec when you are on a budget. Additional SSDs and Harddrives are the easiest part to add afterwards without loosing anything.

Now you need to add a usefull GFX-Card, that suits your budget. If you have like 250€ Budget left, a Geforce 960/1060 or so could be a start, better never hurts.

(My actual own rig is i7-7700K / 16GB RAM / 2 x Samsung SSD / GFX 980 - runs steady 60/60 in 4k resolution without any problems. Of course, you can always build a Megafab that destroys any rig)

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Re: The perfect Factorio computer

Post by BlueTemplar »

OP asks for the best-bang-for-the-buck budget PC.
=> Gets recommended an i7, 32GB of RAM and a 1TB SSD ! :lol:
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Re: The perfect Factorio computer

Post by eradicator »

BlueTemplar wrote:OP asks for the best-bang-for-the-buck budget PC.
=> Gets recommended an i7, 32GB of RAM and a 1TB SSD ! :lol:
I'm relieved that i'm not the only one baffled by the egocentrism of some of these suggestions.
Also don't forget "liquid cooling" which nicely tops of that list.
It would be interesting to know why OP sold his old system in the first place.

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Re: The perfect Factorio computer

Post by Jap2.0 »

eradicator wrote:
BlueTemplar wrote:OP asks for the best-bang-for-the-buck budget PC.
=> Gets recommended an i7, 32GB of RAM and a 1TB SSD ! :lol:
I'm relieved that i'm not the only one baffled by the egocentrism of some of these suggestions.
Also don't forget "liquid cooling" which nicely tops of that list.
It would be interesting to know why OP sold his old system in the first place.
Yeah - he asked for a budget PC that will run Factorio well. Not what type of server he should build.

From what he's said, he doesn't play games outside of Factorio, and pretty much everything can run that, so there wasn't much need for him to keep his gaming PC.

You'll want a somewhat decent Intel CPU - focus on clock speed, because most of their CPUs have at least 4 cores, and beyond that you get diminishing returns. I'm not saying it won't help, but the extra clock speed will probably help more. 8 GB RAM is probably fine, although you might want to bump it up to 12 or 16. Memory bandwidth and speed are important to Factorio. Prices are a bit crazy at the moment, but you'll at least want some good DDR3 - DDDR4 would be even better. An SSD isn't essential. It has little to no impact outside of saving/loading, although in megabases that might have more of an impact. If you have an SSD and extra space on it, feel free to do so, though. Factorio isn't especially graphics-intensive. 3GB VRAM is recommended for high resolution sprites, although they usually work fine with 2GB, and I've even seen them work with 1 GB (although that was 2x1GB cards, and more sprites are high resolution now than there were at that time, so I wouldn't count on it). Most dedicated graphics cards from the past several years, and maybe even some integrated graphics, would work with normal sprite resolutions.

Overall, Factorio is very well optimized, so something along those lines should be able to carry it decently well into the megabase stage.
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Re: The perfect Factorio computer

Post by BlueTemplar »

Yeah, I was going to mention liquid cooling too... but then I remembered that I heard that you could get some fairly cheap setups these days - pair it off with parts that overclock well and you might have a budget winner?

(Could have been with my setup - got my AMD FX 8320E for only 140€ - but it's pretty average on single core benchmarks - and a Bulldozer is probably not a good recommendation now that Ryzen has been released?
P.S.: Though I see that a 4 Ghz FX 8350 with a better than stock cooler is only 85€ now (and mine - 3.2 Ghz, 88€), so might still be worth it ?)
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Re: The perfect Factorio computer

Post by zOldBulldog »

BlueTemplar wrote:OP asks for the best-bang-for-the-buck budget PC.
=> Gets recommended an i7, 32GB of RAM and a 1TB SSD ! :lol:
That recommendation wasn't about about getting pretty toys, it was about saving money on the long term.

I built something like what I recommended about 5 years ago for maybe $1,500 USD, and other than a video card upgrade (from my old 680 to a 1080) and replacing one drive that died (and was replaced under warranty)... I am still using it for all of my work and gaming, have no need to replace it, and I'm able to play just about anything, not just factorio.

BTW, the computer it replaced had failed due to repeated heat stress. There is no air conditioning where I live (not even allowed because it would "spoil the appearance of the building"), so temperatures often reach 100F. Liquid cooling protected my new computer quite well. Even in A/C, it is common for computers (especially cheap ones) to heat up and even though they can last a few years that way, eventually the heat stress takes its toll.

Buying "cheap" ends up being expensive.

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Re: The perfect Factorio computer

Post by Jap2.0 »

zOldBulldog wrote:
BlueTemplar wrote:OP asks for the best-bang-for-the-buck budget PC.
=> Gets recommended an i7, 32GB of RAM and a 1TB SSD ! :lol:
That recommendation wasn't about about getting pretty toys, it was about saving money on the long term.

I built something like what I recommended about 5 years ago for maybe $1,500 USD, and other than a video card upgrade (from my old 680 to a 1080) and replacing one drive that died (and was replaced under warranty)... I am still using it for all of my work and gaming, have no need to replace it, and I'm able to play just about anything, not just factorio.

BTW, the computer it replaced had failed due to repeated heat stress. There is no air conditioning where I live (not even allowed because it would "spoil the appearance of the building"), so temperatures often reach 100F. Liquid cooling protected my new computer quite well. Even in A/C, it is common for computers (especially cheap ones) to heat up and even though they can last a few years that way, eventually the heat stress takes its toll.

Buying "cheap" ends up being expensive.
Sure, that's a "cheap" computer that fills your needs. But OP's needs are different - he never mentioned any heat problems and he doesn't need it to run any other games, and if anything, Factorio is getting less hardware-intensive. He can get by with a much cheaper computer, and one of his main goals was for it to be a budget PC.
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Re: The perfect Factorio computer

Post by Zavian »

Jap2.0 wrote:Sure, that's a "cheap" computer that fills your needs. But OP's needs are different - he never mentioned any heat problems and he doesn't need it to run any other games, and if anything, Factorio is getting less hardware-intensive. He can get by with a much cheaper computer, and one of his main goals was for it to be a budget PC.
How much computing power depends a lot on what is important to your factorio experience. If you want hi-res graphics at 4k resolution, then you want a decent discrete video card with at least 3-4 GB of Vram. If you want to build a 10k science/min megabase, then you also want the best single threaded performance you can afford. If your tastes are more modest, then you can get away with less powerful hardware.

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Re: The perfect Factorio computer

Post by BlueTemplar »

He won't be saving money in the long run if he buys overpriced, top of the line components -
(isn't an i7 complete overkill for anyone not with very specific computing work needs?
Heck, even an i5 is probably overkill, but might pay off in the long run - and would help with Factorio single core needs),
- when these components (RAM, SSD!) might become obsolete/much cheaper in just half a decade.

An SSD isn't essential, but so much of an improvement over an HDD as a main drive! And they got a lot cheaper and more reliable recently !
As long as he can afford at least a 128GB quality one (Samsung?), I'd recommend getting one. (He can always get a TB-sized storage HDD later.)
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