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Test System And Benchmark Settings

Star Trek Online: Game Performance Analyzed And Benchmarked

First, we need to mention that we tested this title when it was still in open beta. We did use the newest beta patch that was available, but at this stage, performance could increase over time or even at release.

When benchmarking any game, we strive to look for the worst-case scenario, where frames per second (FPS) hit the lowest levels. It makes no sense to benchmark a title in the easiest portion of the game where every system can breeze through. Instead, the useful information is found when the system is brought to its knees.

We had originally thought this would probably be found in the ground missions, as space should be relatively easy to render. Space is, after all, a lot of nothing. However, we were surprised to find that this was not the case. While much of space in STO is easy for the graphics hardware to render, asteroid-rich star scenes brought the FPS to a crawl. We suspect this is because the game actually renders shadows for each asteroid.

The benchmarks were therefore taken in the Elveren system, an asteroid-rich space map in the game's Teneebia sector. Keep in mind that most of the game will perform much better than this worst-case scenario, and we saw much higher frame rates in all of the ground areas and most of the space areas.

We tested with a variety of graphics cards from our monthly "Best Cards For The Money" article.

Graphic Test System

Intel Core i7-920 (Nehalem), 2.67 GHz, QPI-4200, 8MB Cache
Overclocked to 3.06 GHz @ 153 MHz BCLK


ASRock X58 SuperComputer
Intel X58, BIOS P1.90

Onboard Realtek Gigabit LAN controller

Kingston PC3-10700
3 x 1,024MB, DDR3-1225, CL 9-9-9-22-1T


Sapphire HD4650 512MB DDR2
Gigabyte GV-N96TSL-1GI GeForce 9600 GT 1GB DDR3
Asus Radeon HD 4850 512MB DDR5
XFX Radeon HD 5770 1GB GDDR5
Asus ENGTX260 796MB DDR3
ATI Radeon HD 4890 Reference 1GB GDDR5
XFX Radeon HD 5850 Black Edition 1GB GDDR5

*all clock rates have been set to reference specifications for the purpose of benchmarking

Hard Drive

Western Digital Caviar WD50 00AAJS-00YFA,
500GB, 7,200 RPM, 8MB cache, SATA 3.0 Gb/s


Thermaltake Toughpower 1,200W
1,200W, ATX 12V 2.2, EPS 12v 2.91

Software and Drivers
Operating System
Microsoft Windows Vista Ultimate 64-bit 6.0.6001, SP1
DirectX versionDirectX 10
Graphics Drivers

AMD Catalyst 9.12, Nvidia GeForce Driver 195.62

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