Always look at the date when you read a hardware article. Some of the content in this article is most likely out of date, as it was written on June 6, 2014. For newer information, see our more recent articles.
The long-awaited dogfighting module for Star Citizen, dubbed Arena Commander, has been released to backers of the game in its pre-beta form. It only has a few ships, a pair of maps, and a handful of game modes at this point... but is it the first part of the Star Citizen game to really be playable. It is also the first chance we have to fly ships, seeing how the physics handle and how they look in their natural environment. A lot of people have been waiting many months for this, and many will be looking at performance of this module as a gauge to see whether their computers can handle Star Citizen.
On the one hand this is a bit dangerous: the game is not optimized for performance at all yet, so as the developers improve things we could see a massive boost in frame rates. At the same time, the finished game will have the ability to encounter larger battles and more ships being on-screen at a time... so performance could also be worse. Since even the beta of the full game is likely a year or two away, though, the debut of Arena Commander is at least a good chance to gather some rough data on how the game performs. That is what this article will aim to do, but instead of testing dozens of varying combinations I want to approach this from the standpoint of questions that supporters of the game have expressed. Here are some of the questions I wanted to cover:
- How do some of AMD and NVIDIA's top-end video cards perform compared to eachother? (dual Titans vs the R9 295X)
- How well does the game scale going from one to two video cards? (testing both SLI and Crossfire)
- Does the amount of video memory on a graphics card impact game performance?
- How does framerate scale with core count (6 / 4 / 2 cores), and does Hyperthreading have any impact?
- What resolution and quality settings are best for an average gaming computer as of now?
Unfortunately, current game conditions have prevented me from gathering some of this data, but even in those cases what we found may still be of interest to some folks. Each of the topics above will have a page devoted to it, whether to show benchmark results or to explain issues currently found in Arena Commander. If you want to skip ahead to a specific area of interest to you, please use the navigation menu below.
Tags: star, citizen, benchmark, performance, hardware, specs, space, simulator, arena, commander