One of the games that has been on our benchmark radar for some time now is Planetside 2. This is a free to play MP FPS game which features grand scale battles supporting almost 2000 players on each continent and 500 vs 500 player battles. Since its launch in November 2012 the game has been struggling with optimization issues such as low CPU and GPU usage.
Planetside 2 Receives Update
However the game has recently received an update which (as players reported) significantly improved the framerate making the game much more playable and enjoyable. We decided to investigate and see for ourselves how much of an improvement has really been made.
First of all the GPU usage in Planetside 2 was horrible, where the game wasn’t capable of utilizing the full potential of our standard graphics card dedicated for testing CPUs, the Nvidia GTX 770. No matter what in-game settings we tried the GPU usage was always around 50% (even with Vsync Off!). In order to get the game to fully use the potential of our GPU (100%) we had to go to the game’s ini.file and make custom settings in order to get stable GPU usage and frame rate on all of the platforms and processors. In order to find this ini.file you will need to go to your games installation directory which is placed in \Sony Online Entertainment\Installed Games\PlanetSide 2 where you will be able to find UserOptions.ini file where we had to considerably buff the settings in order to get the graphics card to work as it’s suppose to.
Here are our settings:
Low GPU usage wasn’t bad enough, we also noticed considerably low CPU usage. For example our i7 4770K was working at 20% load 99% of the time no matter whether we just ran the open fields or were engaged in some grand scale combat. The game does seem more fluid than it use to, but we can’t really say it has received much when it comes to overall optimization. How do you benchmark something so unoptimized, in such a massive MP game where variables are all over the place? Simple, you test it a lot.
After 4-5 days of extensive benchmarking we managed to gather the data that correctly represents the performance of each CPU. Bear in mind that we tried to gather data in the most intensive situations possible, participating in many great scale battles where each one lasted 20 or more minutes. Every CPU was tested at least 5-6 times in order to get the most accurate data possible.
Planetside 2 CPU Benchmark 1920×1080
Even before benchmarking the game we knew that Planetside 2 likes Intel’s processors more than AMD’s. That has been the situation since the beginning. What we wanted to know is how much did AMD processors benefit from the latest updates that took place. As you can see from the graphs, not by much to be frank. The i7 and i5 CPUs provide the best and most stable framerates, they are followed by the i3 processors and at the end the FX 8350 and the rest of the AMD processor. When we stated an example at the beginning of the article about the i7 not being fully utilized is something that you can say for all of the processors we tested. When the game doesn’t use the full potential of the CPU, single core performance comes to the fore. When you get a situation like that we all know who is the king of the hill when it comes to performance on a individual core basis – Intel. The i3 CPUs do provide a somewhat good experience but it was a struggle playing with them from time to time.
Planetside 2 Average Frametimes
Average frametimes did not do AMD’s processors any justice either. As we already said the game was fluid with i7 and i5′s, and somewhat playable with the i3 processor line. When we switched to FX CPUs not only did we have worse framerate but the gameplay was simply put, laggy. The gameplay experience only managed to get worse as we went down from the FX 8350 to the slower processors as the chart clearly shows. Sony definitely needs to do something when it comes to optimizing the game for non-Intel CPUs, since in the long run they will lose their audience with an AMD platform who are still trying to get the best out of the game.
CPU Performance Index
As we already mentioned in our testing and methodology page, we chose the i3 4130 to be our milestone, since it provided the most stable performance while being one of the cheapest processors in our benchmark. The i3 4130 has received a 100% index performance value and all the other processors in the benchmark an index performance value calculated according to the i3 4130.
This is one of the rare benchmarks where no other processor has manged to top the i3 4130′s performance value, since the next best processor the FX 6300 (@4,5 Ghz) gives only 72% for the money. The performance index value did not include the price of the motherboard, and you will need to pay more to get a good motherboard if you want to overclock your processor to 4,5 GHz. Overclocking motherboards cost more money and in these situations non overclocking processors might prevail in performance index. If we did include the prices of motherboards the i3 would still be 1st but we think that the i5 4570 would be better since it can’t be overclocked and it does not require an expensive motherboard, you can run this CPU on an any motherboard that features the H81 or B85 chipset.
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