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mrmikeconner

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Reply with quote  #1 
Hello everyone,

There are so many innovative folks on this forum that I'm hoping to find one that might be able to guide my investment into a Artemis system.

What computers would be best to purchase for a portable system?  Is Windows 10 ok or is Windows 7 the best OS for the game?  What portable Projector/Monitors works the best? 

How much $$ goes into a basic Artemis setup?

Excuse my questions, but I really need a push on the swing...

Thanks in advance,

Mike
Admiral Legasse

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Reply with quote  #2 
I don't have the whole projector thing going with my setup, but last October I decided to stop relying on my friends bringing their computers to my monthly Artemis nights, and bought five Lenovo Miix 320 (fairly low-end) 2-in-1s running Windows 10 at about $200 each. 

Overall, I'm satisfied with the computers, as they have a fantastic battery life and most importantly, touchscreens.  Downsides are performance, particularly on Helm, so my personal laptop with an I7 processor that I use as the server (connected to a television for the main screen) doubles up as a helm station (using its own screen). 

My rig is great for introducing people to the game, and having all of the same computers with interchangeable keyboards and chargers makes setup and troubleshooting stations incredibly easy. 

There are still some limitations to how far we can push our play sessions.  Not only are my budget Lenovos bad at helm, but they make abysmal fighter stations, so that's pretty much a non-starter, but even more significantly, they seem to have trouble handling difficulty settings with large numbers of enemies, so we're limited to nothing above level 7 or 8 (we mitigate this by adjusting other difficulty factors, such as harder ships and scenarios). 

All told, counting my personal laptop and network cables and switch as half my rig, I've spent about $2000 on hardware (no TV included).
LawsonThompson

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Reply with quote  #3 
I've been hosting bridge events on recycled hardware for 3 years--and we're talking at Dragon Con (80,000+ attendees), not just home!

I'll reveal a bunch of the gory details here: https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/e/2PACX-1vT2MLaqquzLXmtny971GDs4PX4JaDzEijMEuacMrkNrxadycNSfkt7DV9cdHoGEQ12Nps5eVWH6vPSF/pubhtml?gid=960143638&single=true

That is my far-too-much-detail research I did while finding the sweet spot of best power for performance in Artemis.

On older hardware, Windows 7 is the way to go. You might even find places practically throwing away Core i5-2xxx series desktops and laptops (6 years old) with Windows 7. If you can get used hardware with Windows 7, do NOT bother upgrading to Windows 10 for Artemis.

The most important benchmark when selecting an Artemis system is actually the single-thread Passmark, IMHO. This is because Artemis uses DirectX 9, doesn't rely much on GPU power, and performs great on old i5 and i3 systems, but only on Windows 7. With Windows 10, you'll need more horsepower because Windows 10 seems to emulate DirectX 9, and does so poorly.

In my benchmark research, I found that a machine on Windows 7 can be a decent server with a Passmark single-thread rating of 1400 or higher.

The station requirements are in descending order:
  • Server: Faster the single-thread benchmark, the better. Windows 7 works better than 10. Passmark of 1400+ recommended. 64-bit and 8GB RAM also recommended.
  • Fighter: go Windows 7 and Passmark of 1400, like a server. Lots of 5-year-old laptops hit this sweet spot.
  • Science/Captain's Map: surprisingly heavy demands here, stay at 1000 or higher on the Passmarks to prevent lag on busy maps.
  • Weapons/Helm
  • Engineering
  • Comms
On my bridge, I use Windows 7 Core i5-2520 laptops for Fighters and most stations, which maintain 30 FPS easily.

All other stations are Asus EEE Boxes with Celeron J1900 at a Passmark single-thread rating of 534--just enough in most cases.

The server is a Dell Inspiron 3668 Core i3-7300, with an added nVidia GeForce 1050Ti which pulls less than 75W. This runs 30FPS+ full screen 1080P on a short-throw Optoma Darbee GT projector. I am betting if I switched to Windows 7 or Linux the frame rate would go even higher.

AAAAaand then there's the touch screens... and projector!

This projector: https://camelcamelcamel.com/Optoma-GT1080Darbee-Lumens-Gaming-Projector/product/B06XHG92Y5?context=tracker and watch for it to drop next month right before the holiday rush.

These Planar touchscreens are decent: http://a.co/d/5R4nGQz for about $200. I have 5 of them.

All told, I've spent probably $2000 on gear over 3 years, and made enough at conventions and private events to pay for it all and bank just enough to cover replacements if something breaks. It's a self-sustaining hobby at this point.

Shameless self-promotion here: http://www.Jump2Warp.com


And finally: There is news afoot that the next major Artemis release will include a newer graphics engine, which may help performance on today's low-cost Windows 10 hardware. That could be a big win!

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Mike Substelny

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Reply with quote  #4 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Admiral Legasse
There are still some limitations to how far we can push our play sessions.  Not only are my budget Lenovos bad at helm, but they make abysmal fighter stations, so that's pretty much a non-starter, but even more significantly, they seem to have trouble handling difficulty settings with large numbers of enemies, so we're limited to nothing above level 7 or 8 (we mitigate this by adjusting other difficulty factors, such as harder ships and scenarios).


As Lawson Thompson said, Windows 10 is an inefficient operating system for the current Artemis, which is made on Thom's game engine intended for DirectX 9 in Windows 7. We expect this to remain the case until Spring 2020 when Artemis 3 will be released. This will use Thom's new game engine and have modern graphics optimized for Windows 10. I don't know if Windows 7 will still be supported by Artemis 3.

Also, Admiral Legasse, are you using wifi for your bridge? Have you tried putting the server on wired ethernet to see if performance improves?

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NoseyNick

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Reply with quote  #5 
If Thom's doing a re-write for a "new game engine", PLEASE tell me he's using something nice and portable like unity3d so he can also get easy support for Android, Linux, Mac, and everything else?
Mike Substelny

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Reply with quote  #6 
Quote:
Originally Posted by NoseyNick
If Thom's doing a re-write for a "new game engine", PLEASE tell me he's using something nice and portable like unity3d so he can also get easy support for Android, Linux, Mac, and everything else?


In his previous life working for major game studios, Thom made games in whatever software was the standard for a given studio. As an indie developer, he writes his games in his own proprietary game engines. Thom has created numerous game engines over the years. Right now he is writing a brand new, modern game engine from scratch. One of his stated goals for this engine is to make his many upcpming game projects easier to port to iOS and Android. I can infer that when the new engine is finished he will use it to support Artemis on non-Windows systems, but I cannot guarantee it.

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"The Admiralty had demanded six ships; the economists offered four; and we finally compromised on eight."
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Admiral Legasse

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Reply with quote  #7 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mike Substelny

Also, Admiral Legasse, are you using wifi for your bridge? Have you tried putting the server on wired ethernet to see if performance improves?


I haven't used wifi on my bridge since the last android release, at the absolute latest.  Ethernet cables absolutely improve performance on my bridge. 
mrmikeconner

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Reply with quote  #8 
Thanks to everyone who replied!  Great information that gives me a lot to think about.
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