Company of Heroes Hardware Performance Guide

Having trouble running Company Of Heroes? Check out this guide to see how you can improve the game's performance.

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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.

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Game Settings
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.

Graphics
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.

CPU
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.

Memory
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.

What kind of setup do you use to play Company of Heroes? Does it run well for you, or do you plan on upgrading? Share your experiences in the comments below!

Settings

We didn’t have enough time to iterate through all the possible setting combinations, but we did run through two sets of numbers that help to show how much each setting affects performance. The first set of tests shows how Company of Heroes performs with only one setting maximized at a time. Frame rates are higher in these these tests since almost all of the settings are disabled.

The second set of numbers show how the game performs with all settings maxed out. From there, we disabled one setting at a time while leaving all the other settings at maximum to see how much each individual setting affected performance levels with everything enabled. If you disable Model and Shader Quality you will see enormous performance gains, but image quality will suffer greatly because the game won't let you turn on many other settings. The Post Processing, Reflections, and Effects Fidelity settings all seemed to erode performance to a large degree. You also might want to keep an eye on the texture settings if you have a weak graphics card.

System Setup: AMD Athlon 64 FX-60 CPU @ 2.8GHz, Asus A8N32 SLI Deluxe, 1GB (512MB x 2) Corsair XMS Memory, 160GB Seagate 7200.7 SATA Hard Disk Drive, Windows XP Professional SP2. Graphics Cards: GeForce 7900 GTX 512MB. Graphics Drivers: Nvidia Forceware 91.47.

What kind of setup do you use to play Company of Heroes? Does it run well for you, or do you plan on upgrading? Share your experiences in the comments below!

Ultra Textures vs. High Textures


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High Textures vs. Medium Textures


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Medium Textures vs. Low Textures


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Ultra Textures vs. Low Textures


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What kind of setup do you use to play Company of Heroes? Does it run well for you, or do you plan on upgrading? Share your experiences in the comments below!

High Terrain Detail vs Low Terrain Detail


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High Model Quality vs. Low Model Quality


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High Shader Quality vs. Low Shader Quality


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What kind of setup do you use to play Company of Heroes? Does it run well for you, or do you plan on upgrading? Share your experiences in the comments below!

Graphics

Company of Heroes scales well with graphics hardware. Faster cards will get you higher frame rates, but you might want to hold off on that dual-card SLI or CrossFire upgrade. Company of Heroes had severe issues with running in SLI and Crossfire modes at launch. Relic promptly released a patch that helped improve compatibility, but multi-GPU performance still isn't very impressive.

System Setup: AMD Athlon 64 FX-60 CPU @ 2.8GHz, Intel Core2 Extreme 2.93Ghz, Asus A8N32 SLI Deluxe, Intel 975X, 2GB (512MB x 2) Corsair XMS Memory, 160GB Seagate 7200.7 SATA Hard Disk Drive, Windows XP Professional SP2. Graphics Cards: GeForce 7950 GX2 1GB , GeForce 7900 GTX 512MB, GeForce 7900 GT 256MB, GeForce 7600 GT 256MB, GeForce 7300 LE, GeForce 6800 GS 256MB, GeForce 6600GT 128MB, GeForce 6200 TC 64MB, Radeon X1950 XTX 512MB, Radeon X1900 XTX 512MB, Radeon X1900 XT 256MB, Radeon X1800 GTO 256MB, Radeon X1600 XT 256MB, Radeon X1300 Pro 256MB, Radeon X800 XT 256MB, Radeon X300 SE 128MB. Graphics Drivers: ATI Catalyst beta 8-282-060802a-035384E, ATI Catalyst 6.9, Nvidia Forceware 91.47.

What kind of setup do you use to play Company of Heroes? Does it run well for you, or do you plan on upgrading? Share your experiences in the comments below!

CPU

The type of CPU you have will affect performance more than the CPU's clock speed. The Intel Core 2 Duo consistently outperformed our Athlon 64 FX in our game tests. Clock speeds didn’t seem to matter as much--performance hardly budged at all when we downclocked each chip, which suggests that the CPU is rarely the bottleneck.

Memory

Most of the time, our memory tests tell the same Goldilocks story: 512MB is horrid, 2GB is overkill, and 1GB is just right. With Company of Heroes, the story is very different. 512MB of RAM is still definitely horrid. Having 1GB of RAM provides decent performance, but be prepared to lose a few frames if you're looking to crank up the quality settings. Company of Heroes is the first game we’ve seen that can post a 60 percent increase in performance going from 512MB to 2GB of memory. Overall, we suggest you get at least 2GB of memory if you already have a powerful video card and plan on running the game with "Ultra" quality graphics.

System Setup: AMD Athlon 64 FX-60 CPU @ 2.8GHz, Intel Core2 Extreme 2.93GHz, Asus A8N32 SLI Deluxe, Intel 975X, 512MB Corsair XMS Memory, 1GB (512MB x 2) Corsair XMS Memory, 2GB Corsair XMS Memory (1GB x 2), 160GB Seagate 7200.7 SATA Hard Disk Drive, Windows XP Professional SP2. Graphics Cards: GeForce 7900 GTX 512MB. Graphics Drivers: Nvidia Forceware 91.47 .

What kind of setup do you use to play Company of Heroes? Does it run well for you, or do you plan on upgrading? Share your experiences in the comments below!

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