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Reinstalled recently, struggling to run the game (Specs listed)

Discussion in 'General' started by Athalon020, Dec 20, 2016.

Thread Status:
This last post in this thread was made more than 31 days old.
  1. Athalon020 Trainee Engineer

    Hello everyone,

    I stopped playing Space Engineers before the planets ever came out, I can't remember the exact version number, but it was at least a year ago. My friends and I wanted to pick it up again, but couldn't until I upgrade my graphics card to DX11, which I have done. Since reinstalling the game in the past week, I've found a new issue almost every day between frequent game lockups from RAM usage spikes. Its left the game almost unplayable, and in many cases, too frustrating to continue with. Here are my PC specs:

    Windows 7 64-bit
    AMD Phenom II x6 1100T, 3.3GHz
    8gb RAM
    Radeon RX 470, 4GB memory

    - Initial world loading is unbearable, even on the "starting" worlds. I began a new world on the Earth planet (without a base, just the lander) and it takes around 30 seconds of a frozen screen to get going. After that, any new blocks that appear on screen take a few seconds before the game will unfreeze.

    - I cannot, for the life of me, figure out how to start making a ship. The old system had the "Start new large/small ship" buttons, and apparently it's been changed so that you just throw a landing gear down and go to work. However, I cannot get a landing gear to lock when I place it down. I started one ship and the thing fell over because the landing gear wasn't locked. I tried a second one, even put a tiny reactor and control panel on the "build arm" (like on the Easy Earth starting base), and the Lock command in the terminal menu didn't work at all. So now I am basically stuck with a base and no way to build a vehicle to do anything.

    - I attempted the Campaign to possible learn something about how the game is now, compared to when I left, and that's been a nightmare as well. Every single mission has started with a 2-3 minute frozen screen followed by a 5fps slideshow, then fairly smooth running (unless something new appears). So far, nothing on how to start building a ship.

    The only thing I've found so far that links to the lockups is what appears to be some kind of tremendous memory usage (or possibly a leak?). I've had Task Manager up while running the game recently and noticed that RAM usage is at 100% for every single lockup or stutter. Typically the game runs at 5.9 GB usage, which seems excessive for what I'm actually seeing on screen, and spikes to 7.99 GB for each lockup. I've attached a picture at the end of the post of an instance where the game was running, I stopped it and started it again to observe the memory usage.

    It's pretty clear what's happening, but I don't know if it's just me or not. I have a friend with the same amount of RAM and a similar processor who does not have hangups like I'm having, even when we're in the same world. I've checked all over the Bug Report section of the forum and found no mention of the lockup issues, just general gameplay bugs. I want to play this game because I really enjoy it when it works, but recently the time spent looking at a frozen screen has become greater than the time actually doing what the game was meant for. Any advice would be appreciated, thank you!

    Last edited: Dec 20, 2016
  2. Devon_v Senior Engineer

    Do you mean RX 470? I've got the card one model above that one (basically it just has a faster memory clock and more VRAM) and it runs SE like a dream.

    I've also got 8GB RAM, but so long as Steam and SE are the only things running, it's fine. SE does use a lot of RAM, that's not unusual. It's holding huge arrays of data for the planet voxels so that you can destroy them.

    Is the system thrashing the hard drive during the memory spikes? I've got my page file on an SSD separate from the game, so even if data needs to be offloaded it's not a big deal.

    Oh, for the other question, landing gear are bugged right now. You also don't need them anymore. You can start building a new ship from any block you choose. You can just drop an armor block on the ground and build from there.
  3. Athalon020 Trainee Engineer

    LOL, yes, I meant RX 470. Sorry about that! :)

    My friend and I just tried to leave Earth with a ship and my computer needed a reboot following a MASSIVE lockup leaving the atmosphere. RAM went to full, it was assaulting the hard drive pretty hard, and after 5 minutes everything stopped completely and the screen went black. In comparison to your experience, my computer doesn't run SE well under any conditions, even if it is the only thing running. This is a fresh Windows install (only 10 or so days old), and running SE by itself will still produce a crippling lockup.

    And for the ship issue, I solved it by placing a small landing gear on my platform in creative mode. It locked immediately and I was using it to build from...until we decided to leave the planet. :tu:
  4. Lt_Duckweed Apprentice Engineer

    The Phenom family of processors is quite old, and it is possibly struggling with the initial world load.
    Running off of a standard hard drive also drives load times up by quite a bit, a cheap 120GB solid state drive might be a good upgrade to consider.
    BUT, the biggest problem is the RAM. If you can find any way to do it, upgrade to at least 12GB. Upping my old laptop from 8 to 12 GB RAM and putting in a solid state drive cut my load times from 15 min to 1 min. And before my laptop would freeze up when trying to alt tab out and open anything in google chrome, upgrading to 12 GB and a SSD made switching applications and multitasking a dream.
  5. Aldakoopa Apprentice Engineer

    The Phenom II will live forever. Still better IPC than Bulldozer.

    The problem is mostly the RAM. I recently had to upgrade both my GPU and RAM and now the game runs much better. I had 8GB before, now I have 16 and don't get as many random crashes. The GPU was upgraded from an HD 7850 2GB to an R9 Fury and that just made the framerate much smoother. I'm using an i5-4670K overclocked to 4.2GHz, but I'm still an AMD fan at heart.
    Last edited: Dec 20, 2016
  6. Devon_v Senior Engineer

    Yeah, sounds like the SSD makes the difference. As the others said, get a little more RAM in there, add a cheap SSD for the page file, or both and it should help a lot.
  7. LFCavalcanti Senior Engineer

    Ok, the SSD suggestion to speed up load times I can agree, but 8GB RAM is "too little" for SE? Are we really accepting this?

    Just to point out, I use an SSD, Core i7 and 16GB of RAM, load times are bad, even with "new saves", tolerable, but bad. But requiring 16GB of RAM to play SE is just insanity.
  8. Aldakoopa Apprentice Engineer

    I agree, it's a bit ridiculous, but the fact is it eats RAM like crazy. I was playing SP the other day, just starting out, no crazy large builds or anything, just a simple starting base, and I was seeing as much as 90% usage of my 16GB
  9. Devon_v Senior Engineer

    Once upon a time having 512MB of RAM was "enough" and 1GB was "crazy". Once upon a time 4GB was enough. This is the 64-bit era, 4k gaming is happening, 8GB is bare minimum moving forward.

    Hell, my first PC came with 2MB.
  10. Lt_Duckweed Apprentice Engineer

    Oh I love amd to death, and yes phenom II's have more ipc than bulldozer, but then again, most everything is better than bulldozer. Bulldozer is and was trash and everyone knows it. Here's hoping Ryzen knocks it out of the park.
  11. Aldakoopa Apprentice Engineer

    I had a Bulldozer. I liked it. Sure, it wasn't the best thing but it was fun for my first time building my own gaming computer and learning to overclock. I'll never forget sitting in my living room on a cold winter night, windows open, fan blowing cold air in towards my computer all so I could push those last few MHz out of it. I had a SuperPi record for a while with the FX-4100, but it's since been surpassed and I've sold the CPU recently.
  12. Athalon020 Trainee Engineer

    I'll try my best to address all points you guys brought up, if I missed anything I apologize!

    The game itself is on a 120GB SSD, not my platter-drive. The HD light on my case usually goes solid during lockups

    Personally, I agree with the statement that this game is using far too much RAM for what you see on the screen. It behaves as if it loads too much at a time, not what is around the character and the little bit that could appear when the character moves. If there were many games that used a substantial amount of RAM in the same way as Space Engineers, I don't think it would be a problem. This game seems to be an exception to the norm, but I'm completely aware that optimization is likely in future updates.

    Just before coming here to post I was helping the friend I mentioned to arrange his base machinery. I took his mining ship out to an asteroid, but the game crashed close to the asteroid (I sent the report). When I reloaded into his world, the game locked immediately. His base consists of about 30 large armor block (in a flat platform), a refinery, assembler, small cargo container, med bay, small reactor, three conveyors, two conveyor pipes, and a connector on the base. On screen during the lock was about 1/4 of the base platform, the connector, and the "open" end of the med bay. Nothing else, not even asteroids/planets off in the distance. This lockup lasted about 30 seconds before sound output locked (that low droning "buzz"), and I let it run for about 7 minutes before a hard reset.

    Does Keen have a support e-mail or avenue for this? It's literally impossible for me to play this game in the state its in, so if they have pointers they could offer me, I'd love to try to work with them to try and fix this.
  13. Aldakoopa Apprentice Engineer

    The only other tip I can offer is turn off cargo ship spawning. That causes a lot of crashea and hard lock ups for me, for whatever reason. Some others have reported issues with wolves or spiders crashing their game, so you might turn off all spawning just to be safe, and try that.
  14. Devon_v Senior Engineer

    Go to the bug forum, the devs read it and they've worked through issues with people.

    For what it's worth, SE is a new game. Some game has to be the first one to do something. Also, don't compare what you see on the screen to the likes of Call of Duty or Battlefield 1. Doing it for real takes vastly more resources than spending months perfecting a set piece environment.

    I do think SE' s RAM usage is a bit high at the moment compared to earlier versions, but that may also be a matter of precalculating more stuff or unpacking more procedural data to keep the game running smoothly.

    The game definitely runs with 8GB RAM, so if you have the SSD, something else is probably going on here.
    Last edited: Dec 22, 2016
  15. dispair Apprentice Engineer

    The other point of view... Format your hard drive to reduce the amount of junk your computer is dealing with. I do mine once a year. Format clean install windows steam and a few games. I play on an old laptop i7 and 8 GB of RAM. Long load times are normal, but the game is stable for me.
  16. SileniusFF Apprentice Engineer

    Just to chime in for reference. SE should be at least playable with OP-s specs.

    I am running SE with Phenom II X4 945@3.2GHz, 8GB DDR2, GTX 950 2GB, SSD.
    It is not always super smooth and clearly old Phenom and 8GB are most limiting factors in large builds and complex worlds.
    But i can have multiple large complex grids with scripts running on a planet and stay around 1.0 sim speed with FPS 35-60 @1080 (custom graphics settings - medium textures, voxels, shadows etc).
    That is in SP of course.
    Although after beta update i have witnessed ca 20% FPS drops occasionally (probably due to new textures).
    One thing to keep in mind - there is a difference between creative and survival. So if you reach limits of your CPU/RAM in creative, you'll see sims speed drops in survival.

    OP-s rig is faster than mine. So as said before, there is probably something else going on than just lack of raw power.
    Btw - new campaign was bit too much for my rig as well - long loading times with initial freezes and sim-speed
    problems. When fully loaded it was playable.
    And to make this actually useful post (hopefully ;) - besides hardware/driver compatibility or background processes related issues, i would try:
    - limit your view distance (pre-planets this was common suggestion. i have it at 15 km)
    - decrease max floating objects (ca 50)
    - turn off all NPC-s and see if it changes anything (cargo ships, drones, encounters etc).
    - turn off meteors (during meteor shelter test on armageddon i saw serious sim speed drops)
    Last edited: Dec 23, 2016
  17. StuffYouFear Apprentice Engineer

    What is your motherboard? I had that processor in a 4 core and 3gherz, I was able to do a biso flash and now I have a fx8350 or so, can't remember but bought it about a year ago.
    AMD hasn't released a new socket in forever so some boards can be brought up to current gen.
  18. drkrieger Apprentice Engineer

    I'll be honest with you folks, not to rag on AMD (I used to love their CPU's, really hoping the Ryzen can turn things around for AMD!), but the Intel CPU's will significantly outperform any AMD CPU for playing SE. I used to build PC's and run them through thorough testing (Benchmarks, CPU Linpack, etc.) and the Intel's would outperform AMDs every time (once AMD had disco'd the Phenoms). The Intel 3000's and above are untouchable by AMD when it comes to playing SE simply due to how Intel handles the physics calculations. Overclocking your AMD to 4GHz+ may help (if possible), but it'll shorten the lifespan quite a bit.

    My suggestion is to either wait to see what the performance of the AMD Ryzen CPU's, or upgrade to an Intel. (i5's are the best bang for the buck when it comes to gaming, i7's & Hyperthreading are nearly useless for gaming)
  19. Aldakoopa Apprentice Engineer

    I love AMD too. Simple fact is though, what you said is right. I've always been an AMD fan but you just can't deny that Intel's are outperforming AMD. I too hope that Ryzen will make AMD great again (and maybe build a wall or something).
  20. Taemien Apprentice Engineer

    I'm finding that a bit hard to believe. Assuming windows is taking about 30% (as well as a few browser tabs and some other processes). That means SE is taking 8-10GB.. I don't see that happening. 90% RAM usage on 16GB means a serious issue probably not related directly to SE. Are you sure you didn't confuse RAM with CPU? 90% CPU usage seems a bit more likely.
  21. Sk1ns Trainee Engineer

    To the OP, What settings do you have the game set to?

    8GB is enough to run the game and play it, hell I even record and still it runs with the 8GB that I have.
    I don't have the same CPU however, depending on the game settings should run the game.
    Do you have access to another GPU by any chance at all? I'm not at all sure if there is software to test the GPU as well as Vram but if there is then test your card.

    When it comes to windows 7, never have auto update on, it's caused many problems for me in the past, it tries to get updates but fails to do that which can cause issues. If able, turn that off and try to run the game again with low settings and if that doesn't lock the game up then up it 1 setting at a time.

    @Taemien Like yourself I'm finding it hard to believe it'd be 90% of 16GB usage, either something running in the background or it's CPU usage.
  22. Aldakoopa Apprentice Engineer


    I am certain. Now it didn't stay at 90% usage, and 30% for other tasks is a little much because I had nothing else running besides task manager and my usual background software (for my headset and gaming mouse, Antivirus, etc) and it usually takes about 16% when I check it while not gaming or using an Internet browser. It did drop down to 60% after a little while but it kept that 90% spike for several minutes with task manager clearly showing SE hogging most of it.

    I know plenty about building and using computers to know the difference between RAM and CPU usage. I review hardware for Newegg on the side as well.
    Last edited: Dec 23, 2016
  23. Taemien Apprentice Engineer

    I'm gonna have to take a look at it. Not that I don't believe you. I just want to see a program take an inordinate amount of RAM for curiosity's sake lol.

    I wasn't trying to imply that you didn't. Task Manager is a bit different under windows 10. Its an easy mistake to make when looking quickly through things.
  24. Harrekin Master Engineer

    2MB used to be a lot man.

    That's like 2 million keystrokes in Notepad!
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