System Requirements

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Minimum Requirements

OS: Windows Vista 32-bit
Video: 512-MB DirectX 10
Display: 1024x768
HDD: 2-GB free space
CPU: Core2 Duo or equivalent
DX: February 2010 or newer (DX10)
Sound: Any Windows Vista compatible sound device, stereo speakers or head phones
Control: 2-button mouse and keyboard
8 play multiplayer
* Internet required for online play. LAN required for local multiplayer.

Recommended Requirements

OS: Windows 7 64-bit
Video: 1-GB DirectX 10/11
Display: 1650x1080 or greater
CPU: Intel i5 equivalent or better
Sound: Any Windows Vista compatible sound device, 5.1 speaker configuration for full effect
Control: 3-button mouse and keyboard
8 play multiplayer
* Internet required for online play. LAN required for local multiplayer.

General Information

Expect the best performance from:

  • A 64-bit OS on a PC with lots of RAM
  • An above average DX11 video card with at least 1-GB video RAM.
  • Intel vs AMD main board details shouldn't make much difference.[1]

Video Card Details

Kerberos is developing the game on an even mix of Nvidia and ATI boards and they do not foresee an expansion that enables DX11 features for Sword of the Stars II.

Sword of the Stars II targets SM4.0. Frame rate tends to be pixel shader bound. Therefore getting a video card with more shader units is always beneficial. [2]

Having a video card with a lot of fill rate, many shader cores and as much video ram as possible will be a big advantage for Sots2 because the primary method of rendering involves a lot of pixel processing. The price point will be the determining factor, and sots2 will sacrifice render targets that provide additional post processing in order to conserve video memory. This means that on a video card with limited memory and bandwidth you may have to trade off between glamorous effects or very high resolution.

A final note: Do try to stay away from the Intel integrated graphics chipsets. Most laptop manufacturers are preferring low power NVidia or ATI hardware over Intel integrated graphics these days. This is good. While the Intel integrated chipsets are effective options for many desktop applications, they cause no end of trouble for games that rely on the more exotic rendering features.

Bare Minimum

Sots2 *IS* multi-threaded. It has been designed to operate in a multi-threaded multi-core environment from the ground up.

Sots2 *IS* both 32- and 64-bit native.

SotS2 *REQUIRES* Vista or better. I am sorry, but this is just a buy-in with DX10. Those of you who have managed to make it run in XP kudos, but we can't guarantee SotS2 will work in this environment.

SotS2 will scale to run fine on any of the systems meeting these requirements as long as the PC environment is healthy and there is ample memory.

*Any* windows game or application is better off with more memory. If you have a 64-bit variant in particular, it will be prudent to have at least 4-GB of RAM present. Any less and the OS will literally be under-worked for the capabilities you have purchased. The days of 1-GB RAM being a big scary number are long gone.

If you are sweating over i5 versus i7 for SotS2, take a deep cleansing breath and return to the previous statement about how important RAM is. [3]

SotS2 Threading

A few more pedantic details for the curious (everyone else can skip this):

Multi-threaded design is NOT the same thing as a concurrent design- there seems to be some confusion in this area. No complex game design is concurrent because information *always* has to be synchronized. Your OS is always doing its best to balance load across the available cores. If you have cores, they will generally be assigned as the OS sees fit- this even happens in SotS1, although there are fewer opportunities because of the game's thread-light design.

SotS2 on the other hand is designed around a standard model where there is one heavy thread and many lightweight threads. The reason for this is that many of the target PC's for SotS2 will have one CPU with two or more cores that share cache; going for a model with many heavy weight threads will likely be less effective than just going single core as the OS will be busy constantly overwriting the shared caches at each context switch. So here is the breakdown: 1 main engine thread, 1 medium weight script thread that may spawn multiple low priority helpers, 2 engine/script message queue threads for communication, 1 background asset loader thread for the engine, 1 render thread (maybe- this may get rolled into the main thread), 1 audio thread. Can't get much clearer than that.

Also a final note that in practice there are probably about 10-20 threads running around in SotS2 at any given time. This is standard for many complex apps and does vary depending on your PC configuration (DLL's automatically hooking into your running programs, etc.). Most of these threads are extremely task-oriented and tend to sit idle until needed. [4]


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