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Benchmark System Specs

It is always a good idea to list off what hardware is used when testing, so here is the testbed we used for most of this article:
 
Asus P9X79 Deluxe
Intel Core i7 4960X (six core @ 3.6GHz)
Kingston HyperX 16GB (4x4GB) 1600MHz CL9 memory
Samsung 840 Pro 128GB SSD
Corsair H60 cpu cooler
Seasonic SS-1200XP3 1200W power supply
Fractal Design Arc Midi chassis
 
The default video card used was a NVIDIA GeForce GTX Titan 6GB, but in some tests a pair of those or an AMD Radeon R9 295X 8GB was used; such instances are noted on the graphs.
 
The testing on the last page of the article was done on my home computer instead, to get a better feel for what an average gaming rig might be like. It has the following specs:
 
Asus Gryphon Z87
Intel Core i5 4670 (quad core @ 3.4GHz)
Asus GeForce GTX 670 2GB
Mushkin Silverline 32GB (4x8GB) 1333MHz CL9 memory
Intel 520 series 240GB SSD
Silverstone NT06e cpu cooler
Seasonic G 550W power supply
Silverstone SG01 chassis

Benchmark Procedure

The tests on the following pages were all conducted in the same manner. Resolution and quality settings were selected within Star Citizen, and no special settings were configured in the video card drivers. Unless otherwise noted, tests were done at Very High quality and 1920x1080.

Each test was performed in the Hornet F7C fighter, on the Broken Moon map, and in Vanduul Swarm mode. I did not yet have access to the multi-player module, and wanted the most demanding option possible. The Swarm mode puts an added load on the system compared to just using the Free Flight mode: there are additional ships and weapon effects for the video card to deal with, as well as the AI for the other pilots (both friendly and hostile) to push the CPU harder.

I had FRAPS running in the background to measure frame rates, and ran its benchmark mode for 300 seconds (5 minutes) starting when the "Game Begins" countdown reached 0. During this time I would engage in combat, and while it is impossible to exactly repeat the same movements during each run I was at least trying to keep the style of play consistent. Here is a video showing what the benchmark segment looks like, along with a couple minutes of the gameplay prior to getting to that point:

I should note that the minimum frame rate numbers on the following pages are somewhat tricky, and I thought about leaving them out entirely. This is because those dips all occurred in non-critical situations. The noticable pauses in gameplay (resulting from momentary frame rate dips) were either when loading a new wave of enemy ships or when crashing... which was usually fatal. The average frame rates definitely convey how playable and smooth the game was in each hardware configuration far more than the minimums, so please keep that in mind as you look over the results.


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

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
Avatar Anonymous

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
Avatar 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
Avatar 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