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Recommended Settings for Playing Arena Commander Today
All of the previous testing was done on a high-end testbed setup at our offices, which would run $4,000 to $5,500 depending on the video card setup. Most of us gamers don’t have that much to spend - at least I know I don’t! - so I wanted to see what a more ‘average’ gaming system today can handle when it comes to Star Citizen. My home gaming computer should be a great example of such a configuration: a Core i5 quad-core processor at 3.4GHz with a GeForce GTX 670 2GB video card. I also have a 2560x1440 resolution monitor, allowing me to test for the best balance of performance and quality at that resolution as well as the more common 1920x1080 and even 1280 x 720 to see if lowering resolution a lot improves performance. Needless to say, most gaming rigs out there (mine included) would be brought to their knees if you try to play at 4K or across multiple monitors; for those inclined to do so, the previous pages will be much more applicable.
With that in mind, here are the results I found with Medium, High, and Very High quality settings at each resolution:
There was very little difference in frame rate at this resolution, leading me to think that my Core i5 is probably CPU limited at this setting. I did notice that at this low of a resolution some parts of the HUD (the interface for seeing ship info) were not as legible as they were at higher settings. I imagine few people have monitors at this low of a resolution, outside of perhaps lower-end laptops, so it is probably not anything to worry about.
Once I moved up to 1080P there was a noticable drop in the minimum frame rates between quality settings, though the averages were basically all the same still. This is likely in part due to CPU limitations again, and as I mentioned in the benchmark procedure section the minimum frame rates are somewhat decieving. Those low dips were only reached at non-critical times in the gameplay - like when a new wave of enemies spawned, or when a fatal collision occurred. As such, I would consider even Very High to be just fine at this resolution.
At 2560x1440 there is finally some difference in the average frame rates, with the Very High setting dropping below my personal threshold of 30fps. Since this is the native resolution of my monitor, I will liklely run the game at this resolution and High settings, since the frame rate at that level was definitely better and the graphics still look quite good. This is the first game I've played where my GTX 670 struggles at max quality, though, so I will probably be eying a video card upgrade when the GeForce GTX 800-series comes out.
Tags: star, citizen, benchmark, performance, hardware, specs, space, simulator, arena, commander