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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.

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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