Supreme Commander Hardware Performance Guide

Find out how to improve your system performance in Supreme Commander.

Supreme Commander pushes the real-time strategy genre forward by introducing gigantic maps and new unit-design concepts to transform mere battles and skirmishes into epic conflicts. The size of the maps forces players to use the game's camera control to zoom in on the map to watch over a single battle or to zoom out for the big picture. You need all the information you can get when the enemy has artillery that can hit targets from across the map. Multi-monitor support lets you keep track of two separate areas on the map--one view on each screen.

Gas Powered Games built Supreme Commander to be the RTS game for the next five years. The game will come with a map editor and a customizable user-interface system specifically designed to increase the game's longevity by giving users the ability to evolve the game. It's specifically designed to take advantage of hardware to make sure that game performance can scale as new hardware hits the market. Supreme Commander is the first game we've seen that actually takes advantage of multiple processor cores.

Game Settings

Even if you have the most powerful computer on the block, Supreme Commander will make it buckle. Fortunately, a few quick changes to your settings will right your frame rates in no time--but at a graphical cost.

Graphics

Weak video cards need not apply. If you want to play Supreme Commander and make it look even remotely pretty, it’s time to start shopping. We tested out 14 cards to help you narrow down your search.

CPU

Supreme Commander wants power, lots of it. If you want your computer to keep track of hundreds of units in a timely manner, you might want to consider a CPU upgrade.

Memory

Supreme Commander plays well when you feed it lots of RAM. We tested the game out with 1GB, 2GB, and even 4GB of system memory.

Settings

Shadow and fidelity settings affect performance and the look of the game tremendously. Shadows take up a huge amount of processing power since the video card has to track the silhouettes of 300 units simultaneously. Fidelity is probably the most important game setting you can use to balance out performance and graphics. Low fidelity settings will give you enormous performance gains, but the game won't be very pretty.

The level of detail setting changes when the game decides to load in more complex graphics depending upon your zoom level. With a high level of detail you can zoom out pretty far and still see your units. However, with a low level of detail, the game turns your units into little icons at closer zoom levels, which reduces the graphical load a decent amount.

System Setup: Intel Core 2 X6800, Intel 975XBX2, 2GB Corsair XMS Memory (1GB x 2), 160GB Seagate 7200.7 SATA Hard Disk Drive, Windows XP Professional SP2. Graphics Cards: Radeon X1950 XTX, Catalyst 7.1.

Image Comparison

High Quality vs Medium Quality


Medium Quality vs. Low Quality


High Fidelity vs. Medium Fidelity


Medium Fidelity vs. Low Fidelity


Image Quality Continued

High Shadows vs. Medium Shadows


Medium Shadows vs. Low Shadows


Low Shadows vs. No Shadows


High Texture Detail vs. Medium Texture Detail


Medium Texture Detail vs. Low Texture Detail


High Level of Detail vs. Medium Level of Detail


Medium Level of Detail vs. Low Level of Detail


Video Cards

Supreme Commander will benefit from a great video card. The high-end cards we tested all performed well, but the demanding high and medium quality settings made the game unplayable on entry level cards. We could only get 12 frames per second out of the Radeon X1300 when we tried reducing the graphics level down to low quality.

Supreme Commander is also one of the few games that takes full advantage of dual-monitor setups. With two monitors hooked up, you can dedicate one screen to watching the battle from far above and use your main screen to get down in the detail. Beware, though: Using two monitors will also increase the hit on your video card, depending on how you play.

We noticed that the GeForce cards didn't render the force fields correctly in the game. The shields on the ATI cards had more pronounced animation effects, while the Nvidia cards only drew the occasional faint blue arc.

Nvidia GeForce 7900 GTX vs. ATI Radeon X1950 XTX

System Setup: Intel Core 2 X6800, Intel 975XBX2, 2GB Corsair XMS Memory (1GB x 2), 160GB Seagate 7200.7 SATA Hard Disk Drive, Windows XP Professional SP2. Graphics Cards: GeForce 8800 GTX 768MB, GeForce 8800 GTS 640MB, GeForce 7950 GX2 1GB, GeForce 7900 GTX 512MB, GeForce 7900 GT 256MB, GeForce 7600 GT 256MB, GeForce 6800 128MB, GeForce 6600GT 128MB, Radeon X1950 XTX 512MB, Radeon X1900 XTX 512MB, Radeon X1950 Pro 256MB, Radeon X1650 XT 256MB, Radeon X1300 256MB, Radeon X600 128MB. Graphics Drivers: Nvidia ForceWare 97.92, Nvidia ForceWare 93.71, ATI Catalyst 7.1.

CPU

Make sure that your CPU won't be a bottleneck before you go out and purchase the latest in pixel-pushing power. If there's one component Supreme Commander can't get enough of, it's the CPU. The game lives on brute processing power--the more you give it, the better it runs. The game got progressively faster as we moved up the MHz scale, and the numbers went even higher when we moved to quad-core. Most games still don't take full advantage of multiple cores, but Supreme Commander sure does. Consider upgrading the CPU if you're still running on a single-core chip.

System Setup: Intel Core 2 Quad X6700, Intel Core 2 X6800, Intel 975XBX2, AMD Athlon 64 FX-60, AMD Athlon 64 FX-57, ASUS A8R32-MVP Deluxe, 2GB Corsair XMS Memory (1GB x 2), 160GB Seagate 7200.7 SATA Hard Disk Drive, Windows XP Professional SP2. Graphics Card: GeForce 8800 GTX, Nvidia ForceWare 97.72

Memory

The large number of units that Supreme Commander can support at any given time means that you're likely to encounter hiccups when the action gets intense. The game will regularly throw hundreds of units on the screen, and your computer has to keep track of each one. We found that you'll need 1GB of RAM, at the bare minimum, to play the game effectively. If you've exhausted all the other video card and CPU upgrade avenues, you might want to consider bringing your total system memory up to 2GB or 4GB levels. We found that the game felt slightly more responsive with 4GB of memory even though it wasn't reflected in the frame rate results.

System Setup: Intel Core 2 X6800, Intel 975XBX2, 4GB Corsair XMS Memory (1GB x 4), 2GB Corsair XMS Memory (1GB x 2), Corsair XMS Memory 1GB, Corsair XMS Memory 512MB, 160GB Seagate 7200.7 SATA Hard Disk Drive, Windows XP Professional SP2. Graphics Card: GeForce 8800 GTX 768MB, Nvidia ForceWare 97.92.

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Discussion

421 comments
WarGrad
WarGrad

"loverboy1988" upgrade your card, it sucks badly. "jacorb" upgrade all three.

loverboy1988
loverboy1988

my name is neil and i recently bought this game cause its looks super awesome. but i having some trouble with installation. for some reason my laptop doesnt let me install supreme commander. here are my specs: amd turion 64 x2, 250 gb hard drive, 3 gb memory, windows vista home, ati radeon x1270. so can some one please help me out cause i really would like to get into this game.

angel_of_pa1n
angel_of_pa1n

jacorb the first thing you should upgrade is the CPU (if you really want to play this game) but i think that the most imp is the VGA,because most of the games require a lot of graphics and not so much CPU...the ram is not so imp...you can buy 2 gb ram cheap and it doesnt matter so much

markimsoad
markimsoad

with 2gb ram, we`ll play easy...

flazza
flazza

Dell Precision 490 - 2xDual-Core Xeon 3.0GHz/667 (might be upgrading to 2 quad cores soon :)) 160GB (7,200rpm) SATA2 Hard Drive 8GB DDR2 677 Quad Channel FBD Memory (4x2GB) XFX 8800 GTX 768mb DDR3 Runs perfectly fine for me :D

jacorb
jacorb

Ummmm i have 1 gig of cheap ram a 3700 single core amd (2.2ghz) a x1650 pro (512mb) PLEASE can someone help the frame rate is awful even when i make my graphics card balance on performance. i run it at low/off everything (including the resolution) apart from the detail and something else. if i lower this to its lowest the game looks awful!!! wht should i upgrade with considering thatram is easiest to instal and h proccesesor is hardest. i cant get a new graphics card. PLEASE anyone who knows tell me what to buy to get a better frame rate /graphics

ndrewn
ndrewn

I have an E6550, 2 gigs of ram, and a XFX GeForce 8600 GTS XXX. I can play this all maxd, 1360x768 with 8x AA. with really good framerates.

micknator
micknator

I have an Intel Core 2 Duo E6600 (2,4 GHz), 2GB DDR2 667MHz RAM and an ASUS 8600GT gfx card. It runs Supreme Commander at nearly max settings with decent fps (~30-50 FPS)

mastershake575
mastershake575

lol come on el_carl why are you arguing over a point that was made over a month ago ?? and the 8600gts overall isn't bad read some guides if his resolutin isn't high he shouldn't have any problem playing those games on high

el_carl
el_carl

robb2112, I laugh at your attempts to show of your POS computer. An 8600 GTS won't run any game in dx10 on high settings at a decent framerate.

el_carl
el_carl

Well, Chaney991, did you bother reading any of the hardware guide? I would suggest checking there first ;)

rubleep
rubleep

I have a Gateway Tablet PC laptop w/1.6 Ghz duo-processor, 2GB DDRAM, 112 GB hard drive, and an Intel Graphics Accelerator 945GM Express Chipset for Mobile as my graphics card. Can I run this game?

Chaney991
Chaney991

Would a ATI Radeon 256MB X1950PRO PCIX graphics card work for supreme commander

robb2112
robb2112

like most, i could benefit from an upgrade to my system to be able to see all the hard work put into these modern games. But i am currently playing supreme commander on a 4 year old gateway, the strange thing is i installed 2 raptors and installed vista ultimate on one and my game programs on the other. i also droped in an (BFG)8600gts-oc, a- x-fi soundcard and 4 gigs of ram. point being the system has a (intel-631) dont laugh.......and plays not only (SP) with high settings i am also able to play lost planet,call of duty-4,crysis and many others with DX10 enabled.

jeffreyc4848
jeffreyc4848

well i have a problem with it for some reason my computer doesn't even revise that the dvd is in the drive my computer is an Hp pavilion a1520n and idk what my drive is could someone plz help me

jeffreyc4848
jeffreyc4848

But the only problem with that site they wont pass ur graphics card no mater what it is cause they want you to go buy one of there sponsers cards

jeffreyc4848
jeffreyc4848

So how well do u think it will run on this if at all Processor: AMD Athlon(tm) 64 X2 Dual Core Processor 3800+, MMX, 3DNow (2 CPUs), ~2.0GHz Memory: 1022MB RAM Hard Drive: 238 GB Video Card: NVIDIA GeForce FX 5200 256MB Operating System: Windows XP Professional (5.1, Build 2600) Service Pack 2 (2600.xpsp_sp2_gdr.070227-2254)

samirato
samirato

My PC is: -Athlon 64 X2 (dual-core) 3600 -Radeon X1300 pro 256mb PCI-Exp -2GB ddr2 667hz This game runs nice in the medium general graphics option with no shadows, it only starts to slow a little when there are some hundreds of units on the screen(witch happens quite often in this game)

koolandskary
koolandskary

I built one and it is only costing me about $900 Intel Q6600 2.4GHZ (OC to 3.0) 4GB DDR2 SD RAM EVGA 8800 GT 512MB some motherboard and an Arctic cooling system I can run crysis all maximum settings (with the XP tweak) at high resolution at about 25-35 fps now.

rokkuman09
rokkuman09

Yeah, si_j_s there is no way supcom would be playable on your desktop. You should probably just build a pc for gaming it's a lot cheaper than buying one (and it's more fun!).

si_j_s
si_j_s

I grabbed a copy of Supreme Commander thinking the newer laptop (not a gaming laptop) could handle it. But I completely forgot that it's video card is Intel, not Nvidia or ATI and couldn't play Supreme Commander at all. Anyway, I tried it out on my old Desktop PC and it only passes the bare minimum. Even setting everything to low, it's crappy. I'll just have to wait next year when I could buy a gaming PC. My old PC specs: Pentium 4 2.6GHz HT enabled (single core) 1.5GB DDR1 RAM (200MHz) NVIDIA GeForce 5500 FX, 256MB GDRAM (can play the game by adding '/novalidate')

rokkuman09
rokkuman09

Santiago_Loco, Supreme Commander will be unplayable even on the lowest settings on your PC. Your main problem will be your graphics card, also it won't like the fact that your CPU is single core. Supreme Commander hates single core processors :(.

yogi252
yogi252

mmm...I tried the demo version of SupCom. I updated my computer 3 months ago. The new computer has: AMD Dualcore 3600 (2.0ghz) ATI Xpress 1200 (320 mb) 895 ram I think I will need to upgrade the RAM memory to 2 gb or more (better) or the CPU (I wouldn't like to). I wonder if the video card needs to be upgraded. I don't know, but I would like to add more RAM first.

Glordit
Glordit

E2180 is a nice CPU :) OC it to 2.8Ghz and watch Sup Com fly!!!

cameron06
cameron06

the X1950 PRO will run this game well, though really the 512 MB verson will run better because of the extra RAM

Santiago_Loco
Santiago_Loco

Can I play Supreme Commander with the following Pc: Intel Pentium 4 3.2 Ghz 1 Gb Ram Windows XP Direct X 9.0 Nvidia GeForce 5200 128 Mb Or i need Someting to be changed in order to play it?

pcgamertotal101
pcgamertotal101

Will The : ATI Radeon X1950 Pro PCI-E x16 256MB VIDEO CARD(ATI Radeon X1950 Pro PCI-E x16 256MB Run this smoothly with Vista Home Premium? (On medium)

mwesch
mwesch

what dyou guys reckon the framerate of the rig on all settings on high part from any antialising will be and the res is 1280x1024 radeon x1950pro 1.5gb of ddr pentium 4 3.00ghz

pcgamertotal101
pcgamertotal101

[This message was deleted at the request of the original poster]

jediclone66
jediclone66

my rig will eat this up -Core 2 Extreme qx6700 -8800 Ultra -2 GB 1066 DDR2 -Windows Vista Ultimate x64 1900 x 1200 Syncmaster

md206
md206

specs 8800gts 640mb(yeepy) Core Duo 2 1.84ghz 2gb ram Vista Premium Ok here is good advice to all to play dx10 games from now and the 12 months to come on a cheap machine at a good performance. Buy any Core Duo 2 Processor (CoreDuo2 E4400 at 75pounds(Price) ). From Ebuyer.com At 164pounds(Price) Buy 8800gts 320mb ( Innovision 3D 8800GTS 320MB GDDR3 DVI PCI E Graphics). From Ebuyer.com Dont buy a 8600Gts! its around 124pounds but the performance is cut down very badly.8600 is just about half of the 8800gts's power. Save some extra change for the 8800gts 320mb Buy 1gb ram (32pounds). Ram speed must be 800mhz. Dont get 677mhz speed. (OCZ 1GB DDR2 800MHz/PC2-6400 Memory ). From Ebuyer.com Remember its DDR2 not DDR1. Check on your mother Board. Buy an extra 1gb at a later date when you get more money. Buy when Crysis comes out Oh a note to all who need to know how the gpu industry has screwd us is if u buy a 8600 u really still can only run games at a bit lower specs compared to the 8800 series. Might also mean u disable some dx10 features to play smoothly so the game might not look like dx10. I realised this long ago when i opted for a radeon x1650pro over a radeon x1800. When supreme commander showed up i wanted to cry. I could play on high so long as i had less than roughly 300 units(enemy included) on the screen. I shot high this time and bought the 8800gts. So happy .

curtis194
curtis194

would and amd 3500 2.2ghz a 7600gt and 1 gig ram run this game. plz i just need to know if it will run ok on an amd Athlon 3500 2.2ghz i hope it will because i can only get my hands on this at the min

bulldog7
bulldog7

I can run COH at mid40s to 60 FPS, so I should be able to do this one, right?

ARMIN14
ARMIN14

I'm not sure but I think I'll be able to play this game. I have a computer with: P4 3.5Ghz 1Gb ram GF 8600 GT

bulldog7
bulldog7

I'm curious to know what kind of performance I'd get with this game: P4 3.0Ghz 2 gig RAM 8800 GTS 640MB I'm a bit worried about the CPU being a bottleneck. Any ideas what sort of performance I'd get? Playable at least on medium settings?

PJ2889
PJ2889

I'm running the game pretty smoothly on an HP dv9207us 17" laptop with these specs: Intel Core Duo 1.73GHz 1GB RAM GeForce Go 7600

_Margulis_
_Margulis_

i have 2.5 gigabytes of ram and it only uses 37%. Out of all the newer PC games i own this is the least memory heavy game since most games use around 70%.

curry87
curry87

it will run lololol :P

fitblood
fitblood

I have Intel Core 2 Quad 2.4GHz 2Gb of RAM and Radeon X1650 SE. Im just wondering how it would run on it cuz i was thinking of getting it but im not sure how it would run

petay_pan123
petay_pan123

i have a geforce 7200LE and it dosent run on anything other than low setting and it still laggs bad!!!

will_d_best
will_d_best

um just woundering ure saying all of this and my 2.80GHz 1 GB ram nvidia geforce7300le system runs it fine ?????????????????????

petay_pan123
petay_pan123

and also what would be the best graphics card to buy with... Pentium(R) D CPU 2.80GHz 1.00 GB of RAM apart from the 8800GTS since thats to expensive

Dr_Death911
Dr_Death911

I thought the AMD Athlon 64 X2 Dual-Core was an processor. If I am wrong it would be nice to know before I make a complete fool out of myself.

Fallen_One_28
Fallen_One_28

You didn't specify the processor, but depending on the cpu it would probably run games on at least medium settings.

Dr_Death911
Dr_Death911

I am planning on upgrading my system since my motherboard is fried. Here is my plan so far. Input would be greatly appreciated. SAPPHIRE ATI RADEON X1950 PRO Asus M2A-VM Motherboard AMD Athlon 64 X2 Dual-Core 1 G 667 memory

kutty12000
kutty12000

After patching SupCom, there is an inbuilt FPS viewer. Just press the / key.