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CPU Core Scaling

Some of the Star Citizen developers have stated that the game is largely CPU limited at this point. To test that theory, we ran through benchmarks with various settings on the Core i7 processor in our test rig. It is a six-core CPU, so we ran it with all cores on, then four, and then just two. That should simulate other Core i7 and even Core i3 processors. We also ran tests at those different core counts with Hyperthreading turned off, to see if that Intel feature had any impact on performance. Here is what we found:
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
I should start by explaining the 2-core score. With just two cores enabled and Hyperthreading turned off, the game would consistenly freeze part-way into loading the Star Citizen hangar (where you select a ship to play Arena Commander with). Sometimes the game would pause for a few seconds at that point with any set of hardware, as graphics and such were loading into view, but here it would always hang and then crash as soon as I tried to alt-tab out to see what was going on. This makes me wonder if some part of the game is just expecting to see more than two cores as being available.

With Hyperthreading enabled, the 2-core configuration would show up to Windows as actually being 4 cores... and at that point the game was playable, though with noticeably lower performance. Once I reached 4 cores, either with or without Hyperthreading enabled, performance pretty much leveled out. You see some differences above, but they are all reasonably close together. The only thing I might be able to pull out of this is that average frame rates were higher with Hyperthreading disabled, both at 4- and 6-core settings. I have seen similar results in some other games as well, and this is one of the reasons I often recommend a Core i5 (quad-core without Hyperthreading) for gamers, rather than the Core i7 (which adds Hyperthreading).

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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