View Full Version : Basic test results...

02-20-2006, 11:33 AM
i figured some of my research with the full version of the game might come in handy. first, my computer specs:

CPU: AMD Athlon 3200+ (Barton Core)
Graphics: ATI Radeon 9700 Pro (AGP 8x interface)
Memory: 1024 MB DDR333 RAM
Audio: Creative Labs Sound Blaster Audigy 2 ZS
Backup Audio: Integrated Audio

unless otherwise stated, all processors and/or memory were running at default speeds.

the tests included a space skirmish with max. units and a ground skirmish with max units.

the first tests involved underclocking the CPU down below the minimum specs and slowly incrementing upwards. the results were fairly impressive as the game actually ran with the CPU running at just 933 MHz. however, the framerate was quite jumpy as it ranged from 6-24 FPS at random intervals which could be attributed to the AI running. as i increased the CPU clock beyond 1200 MHz, the framerate returned to a fairly steady rate of about 29-33 FPS with a maximum average of 36 FPS @ the default clock. conclusions: you probably won't see too much of a benefit from using high speed processors, although its safe to conclude that the game will run smoother during heavily scripted moments such as the campaign if you have a faster processor.

the next set of tests focused exclusively on the video card. however, it is important to note that the Radeon 9700 Pro does not support pixel shaders higher than 1.2, so if you have a Radeon X-series or a GeForce 6-series (or higher), you will have different results due to those cards supporting better pixel shader processes. as for my testing, i preceeded the same way as i did with the CPU test by underclocking the card and working upwards incrementally. the results for this test were much more dramatic. by first lowering the clock speeds to 100 core/ 100 memory, the average framerate was about 2-8 FPS (ie, a slideshow). as i steadily increased the clock speed to the default 320 core/300 memory, the framerate rose dramatically and reached an average 32-37 FPS. as i overclocked the card to 410 core/396 memory, the framerate pushed even higher to a steady average of 48 FPS. conclusions: E@W is much more graphics dependant than most games. you will benefit a lot by upgrading you graphics card to a faster card or by simply overclocking it. it is also noteworthy that i did not have problems with artifacts (random pixels) onscreen whenever i ran the video card overclocked.

the next set of tests was basically to deturmine how the framerate would respond to the amount of memory. with my motherboard, i unfortunately couldn't go through a whole series of tests since i cannot adjust the memory clock speeds. however, i was able to test if the amount of memory would have an impact. the results were not very dramatic with an average of about 32 FPS with 512 MB RAM and 35 FPS with 1024 MB RAM. it is important to note that load times decreased by about 15-20 seconds with 1024 MB as opposed to 512 MB.

the next set of tests involved the audio. sometimes, a game will benefit by upgrading the sound from integrated to a dedicated card in a PCI slot. this was somewhat the case as the framerate increased from 31 FPS to 35 FPS by using the Sound Blaster instead of the integrated card i had on my motherboard. it is also important to note that i could not use the EAX audio settings without the Sound Blaster.

anyways, i hope all this technical stuff helps out some of you. good luck, and may the force be with you. ;)