Test System And Benchmark Settings
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.
|Header Cell - Column 0||Graphic Test System|
|CPU||Intel Core i7-920 (Nehalem), 2.67 GHz, QPI-4200, 8MB CacheOverclocked to 3.06 GHz @ 153 MHz BCLK|
|Motherboard||ASRock X58 SuperComputer Intel X58, BIOS P1.90|
|Networking||Onboard Realtek Gigabit LAN controller|
|Memory||Kingston PC3-10700 3 x 1,024MB, DDR3-1225, CL 9-9-9-22-1T|
|Graphics||Sapphire HD4650 512MB DDR2Gigabyte GV-N96TSL-1GI GeForce 9600 GT 1GB DDR3Asus Radeon HD 4850 512MB DDR5Asus ENGTS250 DK 1GB DDR3XFX Radeon HD 5770 1GB GDDR5Asus ENGTX260 796MB DDR3ATI Radeon HD 4890 Reference 1GB GDDR5XFX 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|
|Power||Thermaltake Toughpower 1,200W1,200W, ATX 12V 2.2, EPS 12v 2.91|
|Software and Drivers|
|Operating System||Microsoft Windows Vista Ultimate 64-bit 6.0.6001, SP1|
|DirectX version||DirectX 10|
|Graphics Drivers||AMD Catalyst 9.12, Nvidia GeForce Driver 195.62|