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leejacksonaudio

How Invasive Is Steam, and Is Satisfactory Any Good?

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Two questions:

 

1. I haven't used Steam, and I'm loathe to do so since it supposedly runs in the background on one's system. However, I'd like to test out this new Intel i9 / GeForce RTX 3060 / 32GB DDR4 RAM laptop that I plonked down good money for (it's primarily a backup for my Audio Production computer) by buying a game. Thing is, I've never been a gamer, or at least not since the Golden Age of Arcades in the late 70s/early 80s. (Yes, you read that right. I can't play games worth squat. Without god mode, I'm helpless.) That brings up my first question: how intrusive is Steam? Does it eat many system resources? Would it coexist with a DAW program, or would it drag the system down?

 

2. Here's the reason for question #1: I'm interested in picking up a copy of the game Satisfactory from Steam (not from Epic - I'd like to possibly play it with my son). Is Satisfactory, well, satisfactory? Does it suck? Is it worth the money? Would it put my high-falutin' system to the test? I'm willing to actually learn how to play the thing, so it wouldn't be a waste of money if it's any good. Please advise!

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I can only answer the first one as I'm not familiar with the game on the 2nd question

 

From my personal experience, Steam's a pretty darn transparent program - best reference I can give is from my laptop, specs wise it's weaker than yours (8th gen i7, 16GB ram and GTX1070), I was also using it for music production, and honestly whether Steam was running or not made no difference to performance whatsoever.

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Steam shouldn't be a problem on your computer, as far as system resources are concerned. It does tend to spawn a bunch of steamwebhelper processes so in total it can end up taking nearly two hundred megs of RAM if you browse the store, but that's not that much when you have 32 GB. Impact on CPU use is negligible.

Note also that you can run Steam in offline mode. That'll prevent buying and downloading new games, but you can still play those that are currently installed.

 

As for Satisfactory, I don't know, I do not have that game. By the way, if your son has his own Steam account, then you two can set up family share. That'll allow you to access his games when he isn't playing them. (So you still need to both have the game to play it multiplayer.)

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I run a crappy msi-gx70 laptop, and I've never had slowdown. Steam is surprisingly lightweight.

 

Satisfactory is more than satisfactory, I think you'd probably enjoy it! :)

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I have it running right now, and it's using about 300 MB passively. It's CPU usage is at .7%. It's not a huge memory hog, and I've never had any issues with it since I started using it in 2004. I'd say you're pretty safe if you decide to install it. As far as it running all the time, you can set it to start as soon as you login automatically, or set it to manual login. It's not an evil system, and I don't think you need any concerns. As I said, I've used it since 2004, and haven't had any issues with it whatsoever. As far as Valve's business practices, that can be a topic of discussion. But the platform itself has seemed solid for years.

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Posted (edited)

Well shoot, a picture is worth a thousand words:

56TBXKY.png

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Posted (edited)
1 hour ago, leejacksonaudio said:

how intrusive is Steam?

 

Apart from the login screen at start up, you will barely know it's there unless you activate it. Sometimes you can get news popups showing new games or deals but I don't get them on my main rig. I may have disabled them. Don't remember.

 

1 hour ago, leejacksonaudio said:

Does it eat many system resources?

 

It will barely make a dent in the system you just bought. You can also stop it loading when Windows starts, and only fire it up when you need it.

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Posted (edited)

And keep in mind, that's Steam running on an I7 4770 with 16gb of DDR3 and a GTX1660 Super. And the RAM and CPU are seven years old. You'll be fine.

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When I need Steam, I fire it up, and when I don't, I shut it down just like any other application. When Steam isn't running, there are no child processes running in the background, not even an update companion process, like so many other apps tend to use.

 

From all the game hosting services I use, like Steam (Valve), Uplay (UbiSoft), Origin (EA), Galaxy (GOG), Battle-Net (Activision-Blizzard), and Rockstar Games (Rockstar), the Steam launcher is the most mature and snappiest one.

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Posted (edited)

I don't even notice Steam running on my current PC, and it's still the dusty Sandy Bridge desktop. You'll barely even notice it when it's running. You can always tell it to quit when you're done rather than leave it running if it bothers you.

 

As for Satisfactory, I've never played that, but it looks up my alley, to be honest!

 

A few other games that look similar to it that you might want to consider if that seems like your jam:

  • Minecraft (Of course - this one isn't on Steam, though.)
  • Space Engineers (Can be pretty intensive on the system - makes my current one cry, yours should be fine though. 30% off until July 8th!)
  • Creativerse (Looks rather pretty, highly kid-friendly too. Free-to-play, with a one-time "Pro" upgrade option that's also quite cheap - currently 50% off at $9.99 until July 8th.)
  • No Man's Sky (Constantly gets free updates even 5+ years after release. Exploration is normally more of the focus, but there is a Creative builder mode too. Can be a very chill experience. Probably the game most like Satisfactory from this list since farming and stuff is part of the core gameplay loop. Currently 50% off until July 8th; recommended you pick it up while it's on sale if you're interested as the game is usually $60 otherwise. And as a bonus, if you discover anything in the game, you can name it whatever you want - solar system, planet, flora/fauna - and every other player who stumbles on that will see whatever you named it.)
Edited by Dark Pulse

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System-wise, Steam is non-invasive and lightweight.

 

"Sucks you into buying a billion games-wise", it is a monster :)

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9 minutes ago, Capellan said:

System-wise, Steam is non-invasive and lightweight.

 

"Sucks you into buying a billion games-wise", it is a monster :)

Yeah, that's the main downfall. The other day I thought "How the Hell am I down to 12GB on my 1TB SSD?" Then I ran windir and saw my Steam Commonapps folder. "Oh. That explains it."

 

Well, and games pushing 60-80 gigs these days doesn't help.

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Satisfactory has great graphics, tons of stuff to do, but for me it was too boring 

If you like survival-crafting-building-horror games, 7 days to die is the way to go ! Hundreds of hours spent playing this game. With friends it's even better. Very fun, and it's not even that expensive. 

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3 hours ago, leejacksonaudio said:

how intrusive is Steam? Does it eat many system resources? Would it coexist with a DAW program, or would it drag the system down?

To the best of my knowledge, steam only needs to run in the background when you actually want access to any game in your steam library. If you don't intend to play anything while you work on your audio stuff, you can just close the platform like any other application, and your laptop should be able to put all its resources towards your DAW...

 

One thing to consider is that steam may like to launch when your laptop starts up, but that can be toggled in the settings, and should not be an issue whatsoever...

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I think Steam should run alright with a laptop like yours, it's usually fine with my particularly low-end laptop (8GB RAM, 512 VRAM, 1TB HDD, etc) as long as I don't have too much running at the same time. It does require you to have it running in the background to play most games, but not like Epic where you HAVE to use the launcher and have no shortcut options. A good amount of multiplayer games on there also make use of Steam, so it's not too bad for that. 

 

On the other hand, GOG has the benefit of offline installers, extra content, and other stuff for certain games, which I think is good for older FPS titles that don't have or have limited multiplayer. Plus the addition of patches for whatever games need them.

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4 hours ago, leejacksonaudio said:

Two questions:


it supposedly runs in the background on one's system


When inactive only uses about 60mb of ram, literally less than Windows Explorer or your browser. It's light to use it even on very old systems. Also, you don't need to have it running all the time, you can disable the "Start with WIndows" option and just close it after you are done playing.

image.png.8428181b2791ed7f2e90c391fbdfc645.png

 

Quote

Is Satisfactory, well, satisfactory? Does it suck? Is it worth the money? Would it put my high-falutin' system to the test? I'm willing to actually learn how to play the thing, so it wouldn't be a waste of money if it's any good. Please advise!


I honestly didn't enjoy it much, I greatly prefer the original game it was inspired on, Factorio, I enjoyed the gritty visuals better, and the fact the game also mixes a bit of survival, fending off waves of alien attacks against the factory, and has the endgame objective of escaping the planet instead of just building stuff like in Satisfactory.
Also, I would recommend this to you specially due to you mentioning you are not a gamer and can't play games without God mode. Factorio's 2D top down perspective will be much easier to adapt to than a 3D game like Satisfactory. You could try Satisfactory after you learned Factorio, and you are more used with the reflexes required in gaming in general.

After that, if you want to explore more games to play with your son, here are my favorite picks for co-op: 7 Days to DieSerious SamKilling FloorValheimBroforce.

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4 hours ago, leejacksonaudio said:

Is Satisfactory, well, satisfactory? Does it suck? Is it worth the money?

My brother is a strategy game nerd and he really likes the game.  But Factorio Might be more your speed because of it being top down.

 

As for your computer it wouldn't be anything to worry about.

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Honestly, so many people use Steam nowadays and the app has been around forever. It's hard to get away from playing games without running into Steam eventually. I still remember the day(s) when buying physical copies of games was the alternative to digital platforms like Steam. Those times are long passed, it would seem.

Worst case scenario I suppose you can use GoG (if they have this game) or similar to avoid the extra processing overhead, but tbh it's a fairly lightweight app. Pretty much any modern machine should have no problems with Steam in the background, especially considering the thing was designed to run at the same time as games anyway. And if it's running in the background that concerns you, you can always kill all Steam processes when you're not using it. That's what I do.

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Steam for me uses on average 1GB of RAM but that is with some performance related settings changed. The library section under the settings menu has these. Now I cannot speak about Satisfactory but I can however praise Factorio all day. Well optimized, huge catalogue of mods, finished game meaning that things are no longer constantly being changed in updates, and most importantly addicting gameplay. Factorio is simply to get into but takes some serious thought to master. The tutorial is decent and included in the demo which you can download off of Steam or their website.

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I've been using Steam for nearly 17 years, and I haven't got any significant performance issues with my computer, even back in the first year with Steam. Can't remember the exact spec of that time, but I do remember that my GPU was GeForce MX 400, so I believe that the other specs were quite equal to that tier. Although Steam got lots of updates, compare to the early design, the application itself is still quite lightweight, and it won't affect the performance of your PC too much. If you're still worrying about it, just open the task manager, and turn it off from the startup.

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4 hours ago, DavetheDoomguy said:

There's also skins for Steam, like this one: https://github.com/ungstein/OG-Steam I'd recommend using the OG Steam Library thing and SteamFriendsPatcher mentioned on the GitHub page with it too. 

Boy oh boy, now there's a blast from the past...

 

steam.jpg

 

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Posted (edited)

Nothing to add on the Steam front, so I'll just talk about the the second part.

 

If you enjoy factory building, production line optimization and exploring a gorgeous alien world, I can highly recommend Satisfactory. The aesthetic of the game is reminiscent of Talos Principle and Witness with its lush and vibrant landscapes and tranquil atmosphere, setting your mind at ease and letting you take your time (and to gawk at the scenery from time to time). The game has multiple different biomes to explore, each with their own distinct look and feel. Free-form exploration has rewards even beyond the continuous eye candy, making it all the more fun just to take off in your vehicle and drive into the unknown, knowing it benefits your factory building in the long run. The sense of scale is incredibly satisfying, with the massive natural landscapes scrolling past you as you explore the planet, and your mega factory ballooning ever larger as you keep adding now production lines.

 

The factory building overall feels fun and intuitive, with the mechanics being easy to learn and fast to perform. The difficulty stems mainly from the planning aspect, having to design your production so that every material is provided at just the right amounts. This becomes especially brain-bending in later stages of the game. There is a ton of repetition though (building a factory, taking it down and rebuilding because you missed a crucial detail, optimizing it, forgetting you had a better alternate recipe for it and rebuilding it for the second time, then taking it down after 40 hours when you decide to reinvent your entire production pipeline) and Satisfactory lacks late-game macro-building automation that is available in its sister game and inspiration, Factorio. Optimally you'd like to calculate your inputs and outputs so that each factory takes only the materials it needs, but I think you can get away with "sloppier" design if you are producing an excess of raw materials. I personally enjoy making my inputs match exactly with production requirements, and the game makes it really easy by displaying the production rates and material needs, even letting you boost or throttle production per factory when necessary. As time goes on the efficiency and speed of your production increases, which gives a satisfying sense of progression. Also, the lack of any structural integrity system (like for example in Valheim) helps you focus on the fun part of building. Having to worry about stuff being appropriately supported in this kind of a game would've been a nightmare.

 

I did play with a friend, though, which made progression significantly quicker (being able to work on different parts simultaneously). But overall it was addicting as hell, my only gripe being that starting a new massive production line would take ages to actually set down, which in later stages could take the entire play session of one day. However, at the end it's fun to just sit down and look at the convoluted mass of conveyor belts and factories and revel in the "I made this" feeling.

 

Screenshot20210417-00271900000.png

 

20210429190204_1.jpg

Edited by Aurelius

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Not intrusive. Won't add an overhead in the background to your computer or to your games.
 

For me it's always been the opposite, I have Steam, Origin (for work reasons), Uplay, and on the other hand (I also write music*) I've always refused to freeze my pc with the amount of DRM and background running services some VSTi's and instrument collections have.

My assumption is that the average (non gaming related) musician doesn't know how unacceptable it is that amount of DRM and copy protection and piracy protection running software big audio libraries have, and so they allow it. I've had to create an authentication service account and being told that a tool will scan my RAM for pirating software and then have running the auth service in the background on top of some several gigabytes heavy orchestral libraries I was planning to host in RAM. Gamer people would tear the world down if games had that amount of antipiracy stuff.
 

Well so, basically, the other way around: I hate commercial VSTs, Steam is ok
 

*of course I know who you are. I've been listening to ROTT's soundtrack on repeat since 1996, and it's an honor to talk to you :)

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Thanks to everyone for all of the advice! I truly appreciate it.

 

I've gone ahead and installed Steam and purchased a copy of Satisfactory. I spent a couple of hours playing it this afternoon and had a good time. Didn't enjoy getting ambushed and killed by creatures repeatedly, but I'm going to have to figure that one out if I'm ever going to get the copper ore on top of that hill. ;)

 

My son has a copy of Satisfactory, and he's looking forward to playing me over the internet once I learn the basics. I'm nowhere near there yet. Give me a few days.

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FWIW, this thread also inspired me to buy Satisfactory.

 

Plus it's made by the same guys who did Goat Simulator.

 

How can you not give them money?

 

 

 

(Mind you, it's available for PC/PS4/XBone as well. Just using that trailer to give a better idea of what you'd be in for.)

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13 hours ago, Dark Pulse said:

FWIW, this thread also inspired me to buy Satisfactory.

 

Plus it's made by the same guys who did Goat Simulator.

 

How can you not give them money?

 


[Vid]

 

(Mind you, it's available for PC/PS4/XBone as well. Just using that trailer to give a better idea of what you'd be in for.)

1095208307_GameofAllTimeWinner.png.145262b545a605862464d06e16d37533.png

I will never hesitate to post my self-made meme

 

As for Steam itself, I've never had any trouble with it. I only have it running when I intend to play a game from its library, and close it from the Task Manager when I'm not playing anything.

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