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Starfield PC Performance Analysis: A Mixed Bag for Bethesda’s New RPG

In the highly anticipated RPG game Starfield, developed by Bethesda, PC performance has become a topic of discussion among gamers. Powered by Creation Engine 2, the game's performance on the PC platform is being put to the test.

To analyze the PC performance of Starfield, a variety of hardware configurations were used, including CPUs such as the AMD Ryzen 9 7950X3D and GPUs like the Radeon RX580, RX Vega 64, RX 6900XT, RX 7900XTX, as well as NVIDIA's GTX980Ti, RTX 2080Ti, RTX 3080, and RTX 4090. Various graphics settings were also explored, allowing PC gamers to adjust the quality of shadows, reflections, indirect lighting, and crowd density, among others.

However, the PC version of Starfield has faced criticism for a lack of features. The game only supports FSR 2.0, with no official support for NVIDIA DLSS 2 or Intel XeSS. There is also no FOV slider, although workarounds exist. The graphics options overall feel disappointing, as they lack detailed explanations or visual demonstrations of the individual settings. Notably, there is no exclusive fullscreen option or settings to adjust gamma/brightness. These shortcomings have left players feeling underwhelmed by the PC version of Starfield.

When it comes to performance, Starfield appears to struggle on older GPUs and when lowering settings. Even with a high-end GPU like the RTX 4090, a consistent 60fps experience was not achievable at Native 4K/Medium settings. Starfield relies on traditional rasterized techniques rather than utilizing cutting-edge technologies like Nanite and Lumen seen in Unreal Engine 5 games.

In terms of CPU scalability, Starfield performs best on high-end CPUs with multiple threads. The game's multi-threading capabilities allow it to take advantage of up to eight CPU cores, making it one of the most multithreaded games on PC.

In terms of graphics, Starfield has a mixed reputation. The LOD (Level of Detail) system is impressive, allowing for detailed objects at long ranges and minimizing geometry pop-in. The game also features global illumination effects and detailed indoor environments. However, the combination of dynamic Time of Day and the absence of ray tracing lighting can lead to inconsistency in graphics quality, with some scenes looking great while others appear mediocre. Additionally, NPC character models are often average at best.

Overall, Starfield presents a mixed bag of performance and graphical quality. While the game showcases impressive CPU multithreading capabilities, it would benefit from technologies like DLSS 3 and improved optimization for older GPUs. The collaboration between Bethesda and AMD has had its drawbacks, such as missing display settings and washed-out graphics. Players hope that post-launch updates will address these issues and improve overall performance, but there is some uncertainty given past controversies surrounding AMD and FSR.

Source: John Papadopoulos, DSOGaming (no URL provided)