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LDK

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  1. It should not affect FPS but it could help minimize stuttering when a game is streaming additional data from the storage, but even that would take time so stuttering due to VRAM limitation is inevitable. I've tried that with Far Cry 4, but the game still stutters even when data files are on the RAM drive.
  2. Dimmdrive is a small application that can create a virtual hard drive in your RAM and copy a whole game into it. Because a RAM disk can be more than 10 times faster than an ordinary SSD, games should load much faster. In this article, we are going to measure performance gains when using Dimmdrive against ordinary hard drive solutions. Dimmdrive overview Dimmdrive allows you to create a virtual hard drive in your RAM. This drive will behave just like an ordinary disk in your system but with a much higher speed, even comparing to SSDs. A lot of applications of this kind already exist, but Dimmdrive offers something made specially for gamers: automatic Steam library integration and very easy game migration to a RAM disk. Because RAM is a kind of volatile memory (volatile memory requires power to keep stored data), Dimmdrive also implements file synchronization so if your system crashes, no data will be lost. How much RAM do you need? Obviously, the more the better, but Dimmdrive permits selecting only specific files and directories to copy to the RAM drive. This way, you can use it even on systems with limited amounts of RAM. Additionally, Dimmdrive also can be used with any applications and folders. Importing other content is as simple as drag and dropping it into the main window. File synchronization and other features are also used on data added this way. So, how does it work? Dimmdrive creates virtual RAM disk and then it uses the Windows implementation of the NTFS symbolic link function to create a virtual directory on your physical disk that links to the real files and folders inside the RAM disk. In essence, it is a shortcut to the folders and files at the file system level. Applications that will access the data through such symbolic links are going to be unaware of it, seeing the files at their original location. Testing and using Dimmdrive Testing was done on a system with an Intel Core i7-2700k clocked to 4.5 GHz and 32 GB of RAM @ 1333 MHz. A selection of games available on Steam was used to test load times on different storage solutions. Measured times are based on loading save games, using a stopwatch. In order to prevent the Windows Prefetch system from skewing the results, every game was tested only once, then the system was fully restarted and games were transferred to a different drive and tested again. The graph demonstrates the speed of each of the drives. Sequential read speed was measured using AS SSD Benchmark. The RAM drive is unsurprisingly the fastest, with an incredible 4.9 GB/s read speed, followed by a Kingston HyperX 3k 120GB SSD with 400 MB/s. Second to last is a standard mechanical HDD, a Samsung SpinPoint HD103UJ F1 1TB with 92 MB/s. A worst case scenario is also included, a very old Western Digital Caviar WD200BB 20GB connected using a PATA to USB 2.0 bridge, with very low read speed of just 22 MB/s. As expected the USB HDD had the slowest load times, followed by 1 TB mechanical HDD. SSD offers an impressively large improvement, but surprisingly, the RAM disk fails to give any significant gains in all but one game. For Crysis, Civilization V, Bioshock: Infinite and Splinter Cell: Blacklist the loading times on the RAM disk are practically the same as from an SSD, and only Stalker: Call of Prypiat loaded 7 seconds faster from the RAM drive. I was most surprised that the newer games were not very susceptible to drive speeds, and even using from older mechanical HDD, the loading times weren't bad at all. I suspect this is mostly because of the multi-platform nature of these games, as the previous console generation had little RAM and slow HDD/DVD/BD storage, requiring games to be a lot better at data loading optimisation. The Bioshock: Infinite loading time from a USB drive is absolutely astonishing, as it is only 4 seconds slower than a RAM drive. I have no idea what kind of sorcery or black magic developers used for this game, but it is incredible. Older and PC exclusive titles are a different story. The loading times for Stalker: Call of Pripyat scales perfectly on different storage speeds, and the story is similar with Crysis and Civilization. The Steam integration of Dimmdrive application failed for me completely, as it found only one game, and to add to that, incorrectly. I don't have my Steam installation in the default C:\ location, but Steam has correct registry entries for its placement on my F:\ drive. However, Dimmdrive instead relies on the config.vdf file found within the config folder to find Steam games so deleting this file would probably solve the issue, but I wasn't keen on messing with my Steam installation. Importing a game's folder to the APP tab worked flawlessly though. With a simple drag and drop to the Dimmdrive window, the application imported the game and I was able to use it without issue, as it showed up in the GAMES tab. Using the app itself is pleasant, as the GUI is clean, and every function is easily accessible. For more advanced usage the developer offers thorough video guides on their YouTube channel. Conclusion Dimmdrive offers much better read/write speeds than any SSD, but testing didn't show any major load time improvements compared to ordinary SSDs. Considering the rather high price-tag of 28€/$29/£23, I certainly would not recommend purchasing it at full price. If you are considering buying it, try a free RAM disk application first to see if you gain any improvement in your games. There is also very nice free GUI application for creating symbolic links, removing any need to mess with command line. I can see some usage for power users though, because of the file synchronization function. Cache folders can be loaded to RAM, thus making the use of large data warehouses faster - for example, image libraries with lots of thumbnails. I've been playing around with RAM disks on and off for almost two years now, and this just confirms my previous experiences. It is not worth the bother for games, but rather for some specific applications. A review copy of the Dimmdrive application was provided by the developer. It can be purchased from the developer's website or the Steam store for 28€, $29 or £23. Thank you for reading. If you enjoyed this report and you would like us create more articles, more often, please consider donating to PCGamingWiki's Patreon campaign: Click here to view the article
  3. Dimmdrive overview Dimmdrive allows you to create a virtual hard drive in your RAM. This drive will behave just like an ordinary disk in your system but with a much higher speed, even comparing to SSDs. A lot of applications of this kind already exist, but Dimmdrive offers something made specially for gamers: automatic Steam library integration and very easy game migration to a RAM disk. Because RAM is a kind of volatile memory (volatile memory requires power to keep stored data), Dimmdrive also implements file synchronization so if your system crashes, no data will be lost. How much RAM do you need? Obviously, the more the better, but Dimmdrive permits selecting only specific files and directories to copy to the RAM drive. This way, you can use it even on systems with limited amounts of RAM. Additionally, Dimmdrive also can be used with any applications and folders. Importing other content is as simple as drag and dropping it into the main window. File synchronization and other features are also used on data added this way. So, how does it work? Dimmdrive creates virtual RAM disk and then it uses the Windows implementation of the NTFS symbolic link function to create a virtual directory on your physical disk that links to the real files and folders inside the RAM disk. In essence, it is a shortcut to the folders and files at the file system level. Applications that will access the data through such symbolic links are going to be unaware of it, seeing the files at their original location. Testing and using Dimmdrive Testing was done on a system with an Intel Core i7-2700k clocked to 4.5 GHz and 32 GB of RAM @ 1333 MHz. A selection of games available on Steam was used to test load times on different storage solutions. Measured times are based on loading save games, using a stopwatch. In order to prevent the Windows Prefetch system from skewing the results, every game was tested only once, then the system was fully restarted and games were transferred to a different drive and tested again. The graph demonstrates the speed of each of the drives. Sequential read speed was measured using AS SSD Benchmark. The RAM drive is unsurprisingly the fastest, with an incredible 4.9 GB/s read speed, followed by a Kingston HyperX 3k 120GB SSD with 400 MB/s. Second to last is a standard mechanical HDD, a Samsung SpinPoint HD103UJ F1 1TB with 92 MB/s. A worst case scenario is also included, a very old Western Digital Caviar WD200BB 20GB connected using a PATA to USB 2.0 bridge, with very low read speed of just 22 MB/s. As expected the USB HDD had the slowest load times, followed by 1 TB mechanical HDD. SSD offers an impressively large improvement, but surprisingly, the RAM disk fails to give any significant gains in all but one game. For Crysis, Civilization V, Bioshock: Infinite and Splinter Cell: Blacklist the loading times on the RAM disk are practically the same as from an SSD, and only Stalker: Call of Prypiat loaded 7 seconds faster from the RAM drive. I was most surprised that the newer games were not very susceptible to drive speeds, and even using from older mechanical HDD, the loading times weren't bad at all. I suspect this is mostly because of the multi-platform nature of these games, as the previous console generation had little RAM and slow HDD/DVD/BD storage, requiring games to be a lot better at data loading optimisation. The Bioshock: Infinite loading time from a USB drive is absolutely astonishing, as it is only 4 seconds slower than a RAM drive. I have no idea what kind of sorcery or black magic developers used for this game, but it is incredible. Older and PC exclusive titles are a different story. The loading times for Stalker: Call of Pripyat scales perfectly on different storage speeds, and the story is similar with Crysis and Civilization. The Steam integration of Dimmdrive application failed for me completely, as it found only one game, and to add to that, incorrectly. I don't have my Steam installation in the default C:\ location, but Steam has correct registry entries for its placement on my F:\ drive. However, Dimmdrive instead relies on the config.vdf file found within the config folder to find Steam games so deleting this file would probably solve the issue, but I wasn't keen on messing with my Steam installation. Importing a game's folder to the APP tab worked flawlessly though. With a simple drag and drop to the Dimmdrive window, the application imported the game and I was able to use it without issue, as it showed up in the GAMES tab. Using the app itself is pleasant, as the GUI is clean, and every function is easily accessible. For more advanced usage the developer offers thorough video guides on their YouTube channel. Conclusion Dimmdrive offers much better read/write speeds than any SSD, but testing didn't show any major load time improvements compared to ordinary SSDs. Considering the rather high price-tag of 28€/$29/£23, I certainly would not recommend purchasing it at full price. If you are considering buying it, try a free RAM disk application first to see if you gain any improvement in your games. There is also very nice free GUI application for creating symbolic links, removing any need to mess with command line. I can see some usage for power users though, because of the file synchronization function. Cache folders can be loaded to RAM, thus making the use of large data warehouses faster - for example, image libraries with lots of thumbnails. I've been playing around with RAM disks on and off for almost two years now, and this just confirms my previous experiences. It is not worth the bother for games, but rather for some specific applications. A review copy of the Dimmdrive application was provided by the developer. It can be purchased from the developer's website or the Steam store for 28€, $29 or £23. Thank you for reading. If you enjoyed this report and you would like us create more articles, more often, please consider donating to PCGamingWiki's Patreon campaign:
  4. Version 1.0

    365 downloads

    Template for graphs and data from benchmarks for PC Report articles. It was created by Microsoft Excel 2007 and although formulas are compatible with other applications, graphs design will be probably compatible only with Microsoft Excel 2007 and newer.
  5. Thanks, I completely forgot about that subreddit
  6. LDK

    menu controls Alt

    right-click on the image and select View Image to read it properly
  7. PC Reports are a series of quick first impressions regarding the technical aspects of a PC game. This report was written by PCGamingWiki contributor LDK. For an up to date account of Elite: Dangerous fixes and improvements, please visit its respective PCGamingWiki article. Elite: Dangerous is the resurrection of one of the oldest PC games which is ushering back the niche but popular space simulator genre. The game is developed by Frontier Developments, who don't have many PC titles in their portfolio, so we are very curious how they managed to adapt to the complex and diverse PC environment. As usual we are going to look at technical aspects of the game, how it performs, hot it looks and how it controls. As this is PC exclusive title and has been in public beta for a quite a while we are expecting nothing less than a very high quality PC version. System Requirements Minimum CPU: Quad Core CPU with at least 2Ghz RAM: 2 GB GPU: DX 10 hardware GPU with 1GB VRAM (Nvidia GTX 260 or ATI 4870HD) HDD: 4 GB Internet connection The minimum system requirements are surprisingly low for a PC exclusive title and developer didn't specify recommended specs at all. Minimum GPU's are six years old so even current low-end graphics cards and laptops should run this game without significant problems assuming CPU has at least four cores. Elite: Dangerous unfortunately requires constant internet connection even for single-player game. When servers are not available, only tutorials can be accessed. Single-player version of the game should be playable even on low quality connections according to the developers. All the tests were performed on a system with an Intel Core i7-2700k clocked to 4.5GHz, 32 GB RAM and HD 6870 with 1GB of VRAM at the 1920x1200 resolution. The game doesn't have built-in benchmarking tools, and achieving repeatable results wasn't easy. Test run consisted of three one minute fights in the Wolfpack Tactics training and averaging the results. I've found this test to be a good benchmark for gathering data because it takes place in asteroid field with many simulated objects with a large effect on performance. In other parts of the game, flying in open space effectively doubles the framerate as there are fewer objects being simulated. The game key has been provided by the developer. Graphics settings Graphics option menu is very well done and offers some unusual settings. The game supports windowed and windowed borderless mode and additionally there is a monitor selection for systems with multiple screens. Wide variety of resolutions are also supported including ultra-wide and 4K screens. There are three settings for managing framerate. Vertical synchronization, monitor refresh rate and frame rate limiter. Vertical synchronization and frame rate limiter can be disabled to achieve maximum frame rate on those lovely 144Hz screens. The game also features few options for stereoscopic display (3D). On my system I could set only anaglyph 3D (I'd need glasses with green and red lenses) and side by side. I'd imagine it is prepared for VR support (Oculus Rift should be supported already). And at last there are several graphics quality options, field of view slider and preset selector. Overall performance and image quality I was pleasantly surprised how the Elite: Dangerous handles multiple cores. As you can see in the screenshot from Process Explorer, the game creates many threads. Two threads are doing majority of the work, then there is a thread by graphics driver (atidxx32.dll) and a bulk of additional threads. I suspect the game is heavily parallelized any many game processes are divided into separate threads. CPU utilization by the game fluctuated between 10 to 20% depending on what was on the screen. Dual-core processors with strong single thread performance would probably run it OK but need for quad-core is justified. The game features four quality presets - Low, Mid, High and Ultra. Performance scaling seems to be balanced fairly well. At Low the game performed nicely and on my ageing GPU the framerate never went below 60 and was averaging around 80 FPS. With Mid preset around 18% performance was sacrificed and the minimum framerate fell under 60 with average around 65 FPS. High preset resulted in almost 40% performance loss from Low preset, but the game was playable with average around 48 FPS and with drops to 38 FPS. Performance drop with Ultra preset was only 7% from High preset and 43% from Low preset and the game was playable with framerate abode 35 FPS. Unfortunately there is little difference in image quality. Polygon edges are smoothed by anti-aliasing, asteroids have slight glow from their insides and ambient occlusion is visible on some objects. Nevertheless the game looks very good even on the lowest settings. Full resolution screenshots: Scene 1 Low, Mid, High, Ultra; Scene 2 Low, Mid, High, Ultra. Field of view Elite: Dangerous features field of view slider but in its default state it is fairly limited. Its maximum value is 60 degrees vertical (85 degrees horizontal on 16:10). Fortunately is can be changed in config files. To change field of view: Navigate to %localappdata%\Frontier Developments\Elite Dangerous\Options\Graphics\ Open file Settings.xml and change FOV value on line 8. Elite: Dangerous is using vertical field of view, so use field of view calculator to find out horizontal equivalent. Full resolution screenshots: FOV on min, FOV on max. Controls I haven't seen that complex controls option menu for a very long time. The game supports vast variety of joysticks, ordinary controllers and last but not least mouse and keyboard. I was very surprised that my obscure 3D mouse was immediately recognized and I could assign every one of the six axes the device offers. And yet some bigger titles has problems with common mice... The game offers few very basic presets, but majority of players are going to customize controls anyway. Every analog input has invert axis toggle and its own deadzone slider, if there is no analogue input, digital key presses can be assigned instead. Some of the ships functions can be set to key press or to keep key pressed to function. Mouse implementation in Elite: Dangerous shames almost every other game. Not only the game offers direct input, but there are sliders for two sensitivities, deadzone, relative mouse rate and mouse power curve. Both axes can be inverted independently for ship control and head movement. I have one small issue with mouse though. The game offers two control schemes for mouse movement: relative and absolute. I've found absolute mode much better for navigating with flight assist on, but pretty much unusable with flight assist. Opposite with relative mode. I would like to see another toggle, where I can assign different mouse modes to flight assist toggle. Keyboard support is also almost spotless and the game allows assignment of every key and if that is not enough, you can assign combination of keys up to four keys (Shift Q W for example). There is only one primary setting so only one key or one combo can be assigned to one action though. Audio Audio options menu is similarly complex and features several volume sliders and plenty of toggles, there is no master volume slider though. I'm very happy to see Dynamic Range setting with options for standard speakers/headphones, home theatre with high dynamic range and night time for low dynamic range. The game also support surround sound systems and positional audio on my 7.1 system was spot on. Frankly the Elite sounds awesome and I think I'm enjoying sound of the game more then anything else. Performance analysis In this section we are going to look at how each effect impacts framerate and how does each setting looks on screenshots. Be sure to check full resolution uncompressed PNGs linked in each section. Or visit gallery for list of all screenshots for this article. Anti-aliasing The game offered me several anti-aliasing methods, post process filters FXAA (by Nvidia), MLAA (by AMD) and combination of post process and sub pixel sampling called SMAA. Performance drop is the worst with the FXAA, activating this methods results in 19% framerate drop. MLAA has considerable smaller footprint and performance cost is 4 and 8% respectively. SMAA performance drop is around 8%. As usual FXAA softens edges fairly well but also washes textures making this method pretty much unusable. MLAA 4x has the same strength of edge blurring as FXAA and the textures are left almost intact. SMAA has similar image quality as MLAA 4x. Unfortunately the game really suffers from disconnected lines (shown at the top of comparison screenshots) as the game is filled with many one pixel wide lines and curves. This can be avoided by using any true anti-aliasing methods like MSAA of SSAA. Full resolution screenshots: No AA, FXAA, MLAA 2x, MLAA 4x, SMAA. Ambient occlusion The game only offers toggle for ambient occlusion effect. Performance drop is only around 3% and image quality impact is not very strong due to the nature of the game. Full resolution screenshots: Off, High. Material quality Material quality affects some materials and on screenshot additional sub surface lighting can be seen on the asteroid. Performance drop is around 6% from Low to Ultra. Full resolution screenshots: Low, Ultra. Shadow quality Shadow Quality affects resolution of shadows and has substantial performance impact of almost 30% from Off to High setting. Again by the nature of the game I haven't found strong difference apart from ship self shadowing ship on the cockpit. Full resolution screenshots: Low, High. Model draw distance This setting should control object cutoff distance from the camera, but I haven't found any difference. I could not even measure performance impact and framerate fluctuated around normal levels. Full resolution screenshots: Min, Max. Galaxy Map Quality Galaxy Map Quality should enhance details of galaxy map but I haven't found any difference. Performance drop is 30% for both Medium and High settings. Rest of the effects Rest of the effects has small or negligible performance and visual impact. Visit gallery for unpublished graphs and screenshots. Texture Quality - no measurable change in framerate, I haven't noticed any visual change. Maybe textures are already high enough for 1920x1200 and the game is prepared for 4k. Environment Quality - no impact of Medium setting, 10% drop of High setting. FX Quality - No performance impact from Off to Low, 3% drop from Off to Medium or High. Reflection Quality - 5% framerate drop from Low to High setting. Conclusion Frontier Developments have managed to release a very well done PC exclusive title. Elite: Dangerous' main strength is its unbelievably complex controls menu with support of many joysticks, controllers or whatever analogue input device works with Windows. Keyboard and mouse support is also very well done: the game features mouse direct input, complex mouse settings and advanced keys assignment. Performance of the game could not be better and the game should run on majority of current system without any problems. Image quality impact of some of the settings is questionable, but the game looks very nice even on lowest settings. With only few minor issues Elite: Dangerous is nice example of how PC title should look like from the technical stand point. The game is also still in very active development and developer listens and interact with the community on daily basis. Again, it's a prime example of what PC game development should be like, and not the "release, two patches and forget" tactics of many AAA studios. PC Reports are a series of quick first impressions regarding the technical aspects of a PC game. This report was written by PCGamingWiki contributor LDK. For an up to date account of Elite: Dangerous fixes and improvements, please visit its respective PCGamingWiki article. Thank you for reading. If you enjoyed our article and want to us create more articles, more often, please consider donating to PCGamingWiki's Patreon campaign: Click here to view the article
  8. System Requirements Minimum CPU: Quad Core CPU with at least 2Ghz RAM: 2 GB GPU: DX 10 hardware GPU with 1GB VRAM (Nvidia GTX 260 or ATI 4870HD) HDD: 4 GB Internet connection The minimum system requirements are surprisingly low for a PC exclusive title and developer didn't specify recommended specs at all. Minimum GPU's are six years old so even current low-end graphics cards and laptops should run this game without significant problems assuming CPU has at least four cores. Elite: Dangerous unfortunately requires constant internet connection even for single-player game. When servers are not available, only tutorials can be accessed. Single-player version of the game should be playable even on low quality connections according to the developers. All the tests were performed on a system with an Intel Core i7-2700k clocked to 4.5GHz, 32 GB RAM and HD 6870 with 1GB of VRAM at the 1920x1200 resolution. The game doesn't have built-in benchmarking tools, and achieving repeatable results wasn't easy. Test run consisted of three one minute fights in the Wolfpack Tactics training and averaging the results. I've found this test to be a good benchmark for gathering data because it takes place in asteroid field with many simulated objects with a large effect on performance. In other parts of the game, flying in open space effectively doubles the framerate as there are fewer objects being simulated. The game key has been provided by the developer. Graphics settings Graphics option menu is very well done and offers some unusual settings. The game supports windowed and windowed borderless mode and additionally there is a monitor selection for systems with multiple screens. Wide variety of resolutions are also supported including ultra-wide and 4K screens. There are three settings for managing framerate. Vertical synchronization, monitor refresh rate and frame rate limiter. Vertical synchronization and frame rate limiter can be disabled to achieve maximum frame rate on those lovely 144Hz screens. The game also features few options for stereoscopic display (3D). On my system I could set only anaglyph 3D (I'd need glasses with green and red lenses) and side by side. I'd imagine it is prepared for VR support (Oculus Rift should be supported already). And at last there are several graphics quality options, field of view slider and preset selector. Overall performance and image quality I was pleasantly surprised how the Elite: Dangerous handles multiple cores. As you can see in the screenshot from Process Explorer, the game creates many threads. Two threads are doing majority of the work, then there is a thread by graphics driver (atidxx32.dll) and a bulk of additional threads. I suspect the game is heavily parallelized any many game processes are divided into separate threads. CPU utilization by the game fluctuated between 10 to 20% depending on what was on the screen. Dual-core processors with strong single thread performance would probably run it OK but need for quad-core is justified. The game features four quality presets - Low, Mid, High and Ultra. Performance scaling seems to be balanced fairly well. At Low the game performed nicely and on my ageing GPU the framerate never went below 60 and was averaging around 80 FPS. With Mid preset around 18% performance was sacrificed and the minimum framerate fell under 60 with average around 65 FPS. High preset resulted in almost 40% performance loss from Low preset, but the game was playable with average around 48 FPS and with drops to 38 FPS. Performance drop with Ultra preset was only 7% from High preset and 43% from Low preset and the game was playable with framerate abode 35 FPS. Unfortunately there is little difference in image quality. Polygon edges are smoothed by anti-aliasing, asteroids have slight glow from their insides and ambient occlusion is visible on some objects. Nevertheless the game looks very good even on the lowest settings. Full resolution screenshots: Scene 1 Low, Mid, High, Ultra; Scene 2 Low, Mid, High, Ultra. [compimg]http://community.pcgamingwiki.com/uploads/gallery/album_58/gallery_13_58_132722.jpg|http://community.pcgamingwiki.com/uploads/gallery/album_58/gallery_13_58_110022.jpg|864|540|Preset Low|Preset Ultra[/compimg] [compimg]http://community.pcgamingwiki.com/uploads/gallery/album_58/gallery_13_58_101369.jpg|http://community.pcgamingwiki.com/uploads/gallery/album_58/gallery_13_58_71062.jpg|864|540|Preset Low|Preset Ultra[/compimg] Field of view Elite: Dangerous features field of view slider but in its default state it is fairly limited. Its maximum value is 60 degrees vertical (85 degrees horizontal on 16:10). Fortunately is can be changed in config files. [compimg]http://community.pcgamingwiki.com/uploads/gallery/album_58/gallery_13_58_120734.jpg|http://community.pcgamingwiki.com/uploads/gallery/album_58/gallery_13_58_69435.jpg|864|540|Filed of View min|Field of View max[/compimg] To change field of view: Navigate to %localappdata%\Frontier Developments\Elite Dangerous\Options\Graphics\ Open file Settings.xml and change FOV value on line 8. Elite: Dangerous is using vertical field of view, so use field of view calculator to find out horizontal equivalent. Full resolution screenshots: FOV on min, FOV on max. Controls I haven't seen that complex controls option menu for a very long time. The game supports vast variety of joysticks, ordinary controllers and last but not least mouse and keyboard. I was very surprised that my obscure 3D mouse was immediately recognized and I could assign every one of the six axes the device offers. And yet some bigger titles has problems with common mice... The game offers few very basic presets, but majority of players are going to customize controls anyway. Every analog input has invert axis toggle and its own deadzone slider, if there is no analogue input, digital key presses can be assigned instead. Some of the ships functions can be set to key press or to keep key pressed to function. Mouse implementation in Elite: Dangerous shames almost every other game. Not only the game offers direct input, but there are sliders for two sensitivities, deadzone, relative mouse rate and mouse power curve. Both axes can be inverted independently for ship control and head movement. I have one small issue with mouse though. The game offers two control schemes for mouse movement: relative and absolute. I've found absolute mode much better for navigating with flight assist on, but pretty much unusable with flight assist. Opposite with relative mode. I would like to see another toggle, where I can assign different mouse modes to flight assist toggle. Keyboard support is also almost spotless and the game allows assignment of every key and if that is not enough, you can assign combination of keys up to four keys (Shift + Q + W for example). There is only one primary setting so only one key or one combo can be assigned to one action though. Audio Audio options menu is similarly complex and features several volume sliders and plenty of toggles, there is no master volume slider though. I'm very happy to see Dynamic Range setting with options for standard speakers/headphones, home theatre with high dynamic range and night time for low dynamic range. The game also support surround sound systems and positional audio on my 7.1 system was spot on. Frankly the Elite sounds awesome and I think I'm enjoying sound of the game more then anything else. Performance analysis In this section we are going to look at how each effect impacts framerate and how does each setting looks on screenshots. Be sure to check full resolution uncompressed PNGs linked in each section. Or visit gallery for list of all screenshots for this article. Anti-aliasing The game offered me several anti-aliasing methods, post process filters FXAA (by Nvidia), MLAA (by AMD) and combination of post process and sub pixel sampling called SMAA. Performance drop is the worst with the FXAA, activating this methods results in 19% framerate drop. MLAA has considerable smaller footprint and performance cost is 4 and 8% respectively. SMAA performance drop is around 8%. As usual FXAA softens edges fairly well but also washes textures making this method pretty much unusable. MLAA 4x has the same strength of edge blurring as FXAA and the textures are left almost intact. SMAA has similar image quality as MLAA 4x. Unfortunately the game really suffers from disconnected lines (shown at the top of comparison screenshots) as the game is filled with many one pixel wide lines and curves. This can be avoided by using any true anti-aliasing methods like MSAA of SSAA. Full resolution screenshots: No AA, FXAA, MLAA 2x, MLAA 4x, SMAA. Ambient occlusion The game only offers toggle for ambient occlusion effect. Performance drop is only around 3% and image quality impact is not very strong due to the nature of the game. Full resolution screenshots: Off, High. [compimg]http://community.pcgamingwiki.com/uploads/gallery/album_58/gallery_13_58_71635.jpg|http://community.pcgamingwiki.com/uploads/gallery/album_58/gallery_13_58_99568.jpg|864|540|Ambient Occlusion off|Ambient Occlusion high[/compimg] Material quality Material quality affects some materials and on screenshot additional sub surface lighting can be seen on the asteroid. Performance drop is around 6% from Low to Ultra. Full resolution screenshots: Low, Ultra. [compimg]http://community.pcgamingwiki.com/uploads/gallery/album_58/gallery_13_58_49639.jpg|http://community.pcgamingwiki.com/uploads/gallery/album_58/gallery_13_58_76997.jpg|864|540|Material Quality low|Material Quality ultra[/compimg] Shadow quality Shadow Quality affects resolution of shadows and has substantial performance impact of almost 30% from Off to High setting. Again by the nature of the game I haven't found strong difference apart from ship self shadowing ship on the cockpit. Full resolution screenshots: Low, High. [compimg]http://community.pcgamingwiki.com/uploads/gallery/album_58/gallery_13_58_131278.jpg|http://community.pcgamingwiki.com/uploads/gallery/album_58/gallery_13_58_55269.jpg|864|540|Shadow Quality low|Shadow Quality high[/compimg] Model draw distance This setting should control object cutoff distance from the camera, but I haven't found any difference. I could not even measure performance impact and framerate fluctuated around normal levels. Full resolution screenshots: Min, Max. [compimg]http://community.pcgamingwiki.com/uploads/gallery/album_58/gallery_13_58_97878.jpg|http://community.pcgamingwiki.com/uploads/gallery/album_58/gallery_13_58_34019.jpg|864|540|Model Draw Distance min|Model Draw Distance max[/compimg] Galaxy Map Quality Galaxy Map Quality should enhance details of galaxy map but I haven't found any difference. Performance drop is 30% for both Medium and High settings. Rest of the effects Rest of the effects has small or negligible performance and visual impact. Visit gallery for unpublished graphs and screenshots. Texture Quality - no measurable change in framerate, I haven't noticed any visual change. Maybe textures are already high enough for 1920x1200 and the game is prepared for 4k. Environment Quality - no impact of Medium setting, 10% drop of High setting. FX Quality - No performance impact from Off to Low, 3% drop from Off to Medium or High. Reflection Quality - 5% framerate drop from Low to High setting. Conclusion Frontier Developments have managed to release a very well done PC exclusive title. Elite: Dangerous' main strength is its unbelievably complex controls menu with support of many joysticks, controllers or whatever analogue input device works with Windows. Keyboard and mouse support is also very well done: the game features mouse direct input, complex mouse settings and advanced keys assignment. Performance of the game could not be better and the game should run on majority of current system without any problems. Image quality impact of some of the settings is questionable, but the game looks very nice even on lowest settings. With only few minor issues Elite: Dangerous is nice example of how PC title should look like from the technical stand point. The game is also still in very active development and developer listens and interact with the community on daily basis. Again, it's a prime example of what PC game development should be like, and not the "release, two patches and forget" tactics of many AAA studios. PC Reports are a series of quick first impressions regarding the technical aspects of a PC game. This report was written by PCGamingWiki contributor LDK. For an up to date account of Elite: Dangerous fixes and improvements, please visit its respective PCGamingWiki article. Thank you for reading. If you enjoyed our article and want to us create more articles, more often, please consider donating to PCGamingWiki's Patreon campaign:
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