Benchmark Results: Low Detail
First, let's have a look at the low-detail benchmarks. These were taken at the game’s generic low setting, although we did increase the World Detail Distance option to 100%, so that we could see objects in the distance. This did not seem to have an appreciable effect on performance.
There are a few points of interest here. The first is a huge disparity between the low-end Radeon HD 4650 and higher-end cards. The good news is that this isn't a traditional twitch game, like a FPS. So even though there is a real-time element to space combat, the lowly Radeon HD 4650 is comfortably playable at 1680x1050.
It is also notable that the Radeon HD 5770 looks like it suffers a disadvantage here. Perhaps it is due to the relatively young drivers. In any case, the Radeon HD 5770 can handle 2560x1600, so it remains playable at this detail level.
The GeForce cards look to perform a little better than their similarly-priced Radeon counterparts in this game, although at this detail level, we're not wholly concerned about the discrepancy.
Note that the minimum FPS is extremely close to the average across the board, which suggests this part of the game is limited by graphics card performance and not the CPU. We'll dig into this a little deeper in the CPU benchmarks later.