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Prof I T
Ting Tong
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
hi. i intend to make use of the pc world sale and treat myself to a new laptop,this will replace an ageing and it would be great to know specs would be needed to make ssdc run as smooth as possible. The only thing i have decided on so far is that it must have wi-fi,bluetooth and have 3 usb ports. So if anyone can recommend a reliable machine that would be great.
 

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To go honest if people can run ssdc on laptops with xp then any laptop which pc world have for sale world be more than you need.
 

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Prof I T
Ting Tong
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11,085 Posts
Discussion Starter · #3 ·
hi
fair point my current one runs xp,not to up on computers as you can tell.

Am i right in thinking that most modern ones run on windows 7 and that ssdc does run on this operating system.???
 

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Premium Member
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Hi Ade
I bought a new laptop W7 on it and now use my old one for ssdc took everythink off it
that runs on vista which was carp as a pc and when you buy your wireless boxes
just get a usb bluetooth dongle thats what I will do .
regards ade.
 

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Dad says that most laptops will be fine, although he suggests Windows 7, at least 2GB RAM, hard disk size doesn't matter, and the fastest processor you can afford. I use SSDC on my netbook (Intel Atom processor), 2GB memory and Windows 7 Starter. It works fine for 1-2 cars, but the processor is too slow for 6 cars.
 

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Prof I T
Ting Tong
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11,085 Posts
Discussion Starter · #6 ·
hi
there are many reasons for the upgrade but the main one is so i can gurantee that the wireless throttles will work when i get round to ordering a few.

Thinking of around the 3 - £400 mark.

What would be a good processor speed to aim for,will be racing six cars so would like to factor in a bit of reserve to ensure reliable running...
 

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More comments from dad - he prefers Intel processors and says that anything with an i5 quad core will be more than you need for SSDC. the i3 dual core will be fine for SSDC. Depends what else you want to do with the laptop as to which you get.
 

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I am a new digital and SSDC user myself, and I simply took my old 3 year old Dual-Core Lenovo PC with 4 GB of memory and run it totally fine in Windows 7 x64. I dont see the CPU hit more then 10% when running SSDC with 6 cars. I also tried PC Lapcounter before SSDC and it never hit more then 10-15% either.

I think it is safe to say that you do not need lots of CPU, memory or hard disk performance today to run SSDC and it will be unlikely that it will in the future either. The protocol of the Scalextric tracks only work in 19200 bps, meaning that the main loop that handles the communication and the driving has very little work to do all together and performance can not be a real issue due to this fact.

I can however see a future where Lap Counting software developers push the limit a bit more and start to create real-time statistics for racers for throttle, speed, breaking, ..., and also better race reports (on my own wish list for SSDC), and then it might happen that more CPU, memory and hard disk performance might be needed. The reporting would probably take place after race finish tho, so I do not see that as an issue while driving either if the PC has less performance.

With the software today, I would say that any "common" laptop around that pricerange you mentioned will do absolutly fine and you could probably run 10 tracks on one of them with SSDC at the same time if it was necessary.

BTW Cat, I am surprised that the Atom doesn´t handle SSDC with 6 cars for you. I would look into the graphic drivers on your installation. I am curious myself now, so when I find the time I´ll hook up my own Atom netbook and give it a try. I´m running Ubuntu on it right now tho, so I will need to reinstall it and try it.
 

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Prof I T
Ting Tong
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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
hi
thanks for your continued input,laptop is for ssdc only.i want it to run smoothly without any lag so i3 sounds like the one.
 

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Hi Ade,

If you're looking to spend £400 this will be more than good enough.

You'll do well to find a better laptop for this price from a high street retailer.

If it is just for SSDC though you could probably spend a lot less. £299
 

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Andrew Wallace
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Ade - Just to follow up on what Cat added - I'd say that the £299 laptop above would be fine.

Its worth noting that you don't want CPU to be high with the APB - the reason is that SSDC is processing the throttle signal in "real time", receiving the throttle values from the powerbase, processsing them (based on fuel load, throttle curves, speed limits etc etc etc) and then sending them back to the powerbase to drive the car. If the PC is anything above 40% CPU, you can occasionally notice an amount of lag. This is quite different from the PB-Pro, where the powerbase is doing most of the work, and SSDC is simply displaying what is going on (with a very small amount of powerbase interraction). That is why SSDC v4 could run on the oldest laptop you could find. V5 with the APB needs a bit more grunt.

With regards to memory, 2GB is the minimum, because Windows 7 pretty much takes the first 1GB. You need to make sure that Windows is not running out of memory, because if it does, the resulting swapping of memory to disk will kill performance.

Windows 7 is best, because the bluetooth stack (for wireless throttles later) is much better than previous versions.

I hope that this helps.
 

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Prof I T
Ting Tong
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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
hi
thanks for the info,can anyone vouch for the acer brand.???
 

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WRP World Champ 2015/2016
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Acre are ok, on the whole. From my recent experience with wireless throttles from Andy and Cat, having a decent Bluetooth device with new drivers is more important.

The Acer in the PC World sale is more than up to the job

I think the problem with the Atom netbook is the poor performance on the bus, more than processor or memory.

Ref Ubuntu - just run XP or W7 via VMWare, saves a lot of faffing. My earlier non-wireless SSDC setup did this wonderfully. I haven't yet had time to set the wireless throttles up on the Ubuntu box yet.
 

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Prof I T
Ting Tong
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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
hi
i take it the acer mentioned has the necessary bluetooth built in as i dont want to have a seperate dongle.

3 usb ports would be nice to..
 

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Acer are OK. Not sure if this one has built in bluetooth though.

I have just bought one of these

Although it's not the highest spec. Lenovo (IBM) are solid and built with good components. Toshiba are great too!

Though there are good and bad models from most brands.
 

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Living the Life!
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Hi Ade,

From what I can see, neither of the two laptops from PC World referred to above have bluetooth.

Acer's are OK; they are the computers that will be used for the 2012 Olympics ............. but PC world ..............................

All the best - Greg
 

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Prof I T
Ting Tong
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11,085 Posts
Discussion Starter · #17 ·
hi
so i got a np in the sale,4 gig of ram,500 gig hard drive,bluetooth built in and it's a I3 as well.

So now the tricky part(for me anyway)i have downloaded ssdc and it ended up in documents,i is still a zipped file.

I now i need to unzip it but is it in the right place to start and what do i need to do next to get it up and running.?? Do the ftdi drivers install automatically.???

Tia
 

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Hi

Assuming you've got Windows 7 you just need to be connected to the internet and plug the cable into any of the computer usb sockets - it doesn't need to be connected to the APB for this part - click yes to any questions & it should look for and install the ftdi driver automatically via Windows update. Usually it is automatic but you might need to authorise Windows to go searching for drivers depending on your setup - it will automatically ask if necessary.

You can unzip SSDC anywhere and then click double click on setup.exe to install it. After installation you should have an SSDC icon on the desktop to launch the program. (you can then delete both the zip & the unzipped files if you want).

Good luck - it should be a breeze to install.

Chris
 

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Prof I T
Ting Tong
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11,085 Posts
Discussion Starter · #19 ·
hi
yes should of added its windows 7 64bit .

This does sound a lot easier to install than V4 was. Had to send last pc away to get it running. Pooters are not my strong suit.

Thanks chris 99 .
 

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Prof I T
Ting Tong
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11,085 Posts
Discussion Starter · #20 ·
hi
well the ssdc install was indeed a breeze compared to my last effort on old lappy and V4.

The ftdi drivers would not install automatically no matter what i did so found an old thread where Rikorocket had included a link to the site wich had auto install for them.

Downloaded the file to smartphone and then transfered it to lappy with bluetooth,worked a treat.
 
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