ARMA 3 Benchmarked: Graphics and CPU Performance Tested

By Julio Franco ยท 44 replies
Sep 17, 2013
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  1. jeffz6

    jeffz6 TS Rookie Posts: 79

    I think you need to understand this game to enjoy it. Those that come from bf/cod straight to arma will most likley hate it.

    The draw distance is the killer, other options give minial performace changes, but draw distance, wow.

    The auto graphics function dosnt work for me? frame rate is to low for my taste, but good thing we can tinker.
  2. TekGun

    TekGun TS Booster Posts: 162   +25

    Great review, really appreciate the effort put in to compare all the different hardware. I'm quite surprised at the Sli/CF scaling, will definitely look at getting a second 7970Ghz.
    This game should be the default benchmark for all gaming hardware. There is no game that compares, just have a look at the detail on everything from tree bark to roof tiles, weapons and uniforms. Not to mention the cockpits of all the vehicles, with the PIP and rear view mirrors that actually work in real time. The game is immense, it's no wonder it requires the hardware it does to run at the higher video settings. As for Altis, just beutiful.
    BlueDrake and McNasty like this.
  3. misor

    misor TS Evangelist Posts: 1,283   +242

    270 square kilometers to play with (on aegian islands)?. that's huge. I don't have a decent mainstream gpu yet but I'd be smiling ear to ear when NVidia gtx 760 will be locally available at a decent price and be able to test that map. :)
  4. aboynamedmatt

    aboynamedmatt TS Rookie

    Really surprised in the lack of performance by the 7970GHz. Is it finally starting to show it's age?
  5. GhostRyder

    GhostRyder This guy again... Posts: 2,198   +593

    It probably has to do with immature drivers, this tends to happen in a new game though even now the drivers showed to be pretty decent at launch based off the different FPS levels. Games still new I would give it some time, really not many of the cards were able to handle the game too well and im sure on both sides of the table there will improvements over time. It seems that unless your running beyond 1080p, the need for 3gb or higher on the GPU is unnecessary as even the titan did not do well. This is straight up, good ol fashioned GPU power and drivers.

    I have to say though, this is a well optimized/programmed game for CPU's and GPU's. The Fact that the CPU's from both sides keep up very well, the game can run on even lower end CPU's, and it scales to each CPU when clocking them differently shows that the developers worked real hard to make sure this game was playable. Im happy to see some good CFX/SLI profiles as well because that means we can push this game up to ultra with some ease with one of those setups.

    Great review, glad to see such a wide margin of cards
  6. Lionvibez

    Lionvibez TS Evangelist Posts: 1,265   +436

    I don't think its age at all.

    As Ryder posted its mostly drivers and just ARMA.

    This game is kicking Titan's *** also every game in this series has been this gpu demanding when you crank the settings.
  7. Blue Falcon

    Blue Falcon TS Addict Posts: 161   +51

    "For the money, a pair of GTX 770s would be hard to beat if you want to crank up the settings without thinking twice, particularly since they performed better than two HD 7970 GHz Edition cards for around the same price or less."


    You can get 90% of the performance of $800 770 2GB SLI for $560 by getting 1Ghz 7970s in CF:

    Hard to understand some of those benchmarks like 680 beating 670 by 26% on average in some of those charts.
  8. At $60 a copy, it better be a good game. I put it on my wish list.
  9. The graphics look incredibly realistic! Too bad my mobo is severely outdated to run anything near that.
  10. I'll try it on my GTX Titans.
  11. You missed making benchmarks on multiplayer, where you will get 1/2 or 1/3 performance on servers with 20 or more people. The game is made basically for multiplayer, singleplayer performance does not represent that reality. You guys should update the review.
  12. GhostRyder

    GhostRyder This guy again... Posts: 2,198   +593

    Good points there

    Doing a multiplayer test and being accurate for all scenarios or being able to repeat scenarios is near impossible. You cannot predict or repeat the exact position, situations, or timing of scertain scenarios to give an a realistic example of what to expect in multiplayer. One card may get all these extremely hard to render events happen while another could get the easy street which would alter the results.
  13. Jad Chaar

    Jad Chaar Elite Techno Geek Posts: 6,515   +974

    I play BF3 at 40FPS and I deal with it. It isnt that bad. Yes, 60FPS is nice, but 30 and above is playable.

    The differences between high and ultra are pretty minimal. I would rather gain the FPS than the quality.
  14. Making an irrelevant review is worse than doing none at all. the other 'guest' is right to complain and the point that different hardware behaves differently is equally valid in single player.

    Arma 3's performance in multiplayer is SIGNIFICANTLY worse than in singleplayer and many people claim there is a severe cpu bottle neck and some also point to the net code being 'bad' (server bandwidth and cpu performance matter too much among other things, apparently).

    Therefore this whole review is 'nice' but for anyone who wants to play mostly MP it has absolutely no value.
    Pro tip: there are enough well coded missions to test MP performance(CTI, FT-2, and maybe wasteland for its popularity) at least to the extent of determining whether cpu or gpu matters more or if it is even possible to play the average MP mission at 60+ fps on any hardware.
  15. Julio Franco

    Julio Franco TechSpot Editor Topic Starter Posts: 7,668   +988

    Browsing through the ARMA forums I noticed a lot of people complaining about multiplayer performance and upcoming fixes -- meaning it's not the desired performance level, but an apparent lack of optimization.

    When a new high profile game is released, we have to decide if the game is worthy of testing or not (if the graphics challenge current PC hardware, if the game is popular, etc.) In this case the decision came to:

    1) Showcasing engine performance at launch with what potentially is going to be the performance you'll eventually see everywhere in the game (single and multiplayer) OR 2) Waiting a couple of weeks or months for the developer to patch things up and then test the game.

    We picked #1.
  16. INSTG8R

    INSTG8R TS Rookie

    It would have been nice to have at least mentioned which drivers you were using for the tests. I personally have a i7 2600@4.6 and a 7970 OC: I get decent 40-60 FPS on Very High with some other settings turned down a bit but that is on the 13.6 B2's because having tried the 10.8 Betas I had absolutely horrendous FPS in some of my other games like WoT and ETS 2 so I haven't even tried the the latest 13.10 Betas because of this.

    Playing this game and looking for articles and benchmarks like this using the 13.10 betas might make me give them a shot if it I saw some performance gains because of it.

    I mean it was a great article and the results seem to be pretty on par but not giving an accurate test setup means they can easily be taken with a grain of salt.
  17. Julio Franco

    Julio Franco TechSpot Editor Topic Starter Posts: 7,668   +988

    Full system specs are at the bottom of the first page, as usual.
  18. INSTG8R

    INSTG8R TS Rookie

    Geez I apologise! I glossed right over that.. Had been playing Occupation in ARMA 3 for the last few hours and a bit out of it.
    Thanks for setting me straight I may just give the 13.10s a shot tho I am pretty much getting the same results.
  19. From StefenHeif:

    Well, seems that ARMA 3 is hard on AMD GPU`s because of the use of nVidia's PhysX.

    So I believe that if you use a lower particle setting, this should improve by a good lot.

    Also, in MP, reducing particles with an AMD GPU will lower strain on CPU as well

    Feel free to experiment on your own.
  20. GhostRyder

    GhostRyder This guy again... Posts: 2,198   +593

    I have tried both 13.8s and 13.10 and im running Dual HD 6990's, so far ive only had positive results for the most part that ive noticed. Only game that really did not change for me was BF3 at least.
  21. TekGun

    TekGun TS Booster Posts: 162   +25

    Actually the PhysX is run only on the CPU no matter which type of GPU you are running.
    As for the multiplayer performance, most of the problems seem to be badly created maps and players thinking they can host 20+ players and play on the same machine. A decent dedicated server is needed.
  22. j05hh

    j05hh TS Booster Posts: 156   +34

    Being a BF3 and COD player, this was my first time playing the ARMA series... boy was I bored!!! Thank goodness for not purchasing this game.... it was quickly uninstalled.
  23. GhostRyder

    GhostRyder This guy again... Posts: 2,198   +593

    Personally, I cant understand how you can call CoD interesting and Arma Boring, but then again everyone is different and likes different things though Battlefield is definitely one of the best Shooters out there.

    That's not true, the PhysX on an Nvidia GPU system will automatically if you don't play with the system default to the GPU's PhysX processor. You can of course force it to the CPU, but what would be the point if you have an Nvidia GPU. On an AMD system, if you install the PhysX, it will run on the CPU unless you do a hybrid PhysX system which is a little bit difficult to setup.

    Advanced PhysX requires and Nvidia GPU to run, but if there is not one it will be off and just running normal PhysX on the CPU which will give you most of the benefits so long as your CPU can keep up (Almost any CPU from recent Generations on both sides can handle regular PhysX pretty well).
  24. TekGun

    TekGun TS Booster Posts: 162   +25

    No that's not right, what you are talking about with the GPU acceleration is an optional part of PhysX called "Apex", this enhances special effects etc. The part of PhysX that deals with collisions and other calculations is done on the CPU.
    ArmA 3 does not include the use of Apex PhysX and so it is impossible to accelerate it on any GPU.

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