Company of Heroes is the type of game hardware manufacturers absolutely adore. The game offers beautiful graphics, smart gameplay, and it attacks system performance from all three major fronts: CPU, video card, and memory. More importantly, the game is a hit with reviewers and offers online multiplayer gameplay, which means (1) a lot of people will buy the game, and (2) they'll be playing it for a very long time. All those hours spent in multiplayer will encourage players to upgrade their systems to get a performance edge.
We used the game's built-in system-performance test as our default benchmark. The level of detail in the game is amazing. You can go from an overhead real-time strategy view all the way to a ground-level, close-up view and have the textures scale accordingly. It's hard to resist taking breaks in the game to zoom in on the action and see how the game renders vehicles, buildings, and troop models up close.
If you don't have the best hardware, you can whip Company of Heroes into a playable state by adjusting a few settings. We tested all the options to find out how much each setting affected frame-rate performance.
Bigger, faster, and more expensive. Those are the rules of the game when it comes to feeding Company of Heroes' insatiable need for pixel-pushing power. We tested nearly 20 video cards to help you decide if a video card upgrade is necessary.
Give this game a better CPU, and it'll reward you with better frame rates. We tested the game up and down the clock-speed ladder on our Intel Core 2 Duo and AMD Athlon 64 CPU-based systems.
Moving up from 512MB to 1GB of system memory will help improve performance in most PC games, but Company of Heroes is one of the few games we've seen that will also benefit from upgrading to 2GB of memory.