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Star Citizen Benchmark: Arena Commander v0.8

Written on June 6, 2014 by William George


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.

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Tags: star, citizen, benchmark, performance, hardware, specs, space, simulator, arena, commander

On what setting was this tested on? Also, what graphics card was used? This is important info that I felt was left out.

Posted on 2014-06-12 22:32:19

For the CPU cores test, that is.

Posted on 2014-06-12 22:36:40

The info is there, but it is a little hidden on the second page:

"Unless otherwise noted, tests were done at Very High quality and 1920x1080."

I guess I didn't do a good job of spelling out the video card, though - on the CPU core testing it was a single GTX Titan 6GB.

Posted on 2014-06-12 23:39:24
Mihael Keehl

Using area commander v1.0 I'm getting an average of 55 FPS in broken moon against bots, they must have optimized the game a lot! Considering I've got a R9 280X 3GB and it runs faster than both R9 295X 4GB and GTX Titan 6GB running area commander v0.8, I guess doing benchmarks on an unfinished game is pretty much pointless.

Posted on 2015-01-09 21:48:33

Yeah, I've noticed a lot of dips and gains in FPS in my own playtime. However, I'd not quite say it is 'pointless'. It gives a good idea of where the game is starting out in terms of performance requirements, and if you needed to get a computer before the full release but wanted to be in good what when it launches then it could be helpful.

I plan to test again in the future, probably when multi-crew ships come out. Those will be bigger and even more complex models, so it may put some additional strain on the video cards... we'll see :)

Posted on 2015-01-09 21:54:09
Mihael Keehl

Thanks for getting back so quickly. It definitely was not pointless at the time, but it can be very confusing for someone who does not know the game at all. I can definitely see someone reading this and deciding not to get the game. We need as many people as we possibly can to join us in SC, more tests (and perhaps a comparison to the old tests) will be awesome! :-)

PS: I was surprised to see that Crytek dropped their normal release cycle in favour of a rolling release system.

Posted on 2015-01-09 22:17:57