Phantasy Star Online 2: Minimum PC Requirements: Round 2

edited December 1969 in Computers
[size=8pt]This is an updated topic to the original one, which was posted way back in March 2011.[/size]<br /><br />PSO2 Minimum system requirements, as stated on the official PSO2 website, as of time of this posting.:<br /><br />
Windows OS:<br />- XP SP3 (32-bit versions only)<br />- Vista (all versions)<br />- 7 (all versions)<br />CPU: Intel Core 2 Duo 6300 (equivalent or better)<br />RAM: <br />- 1.5GB (XP)<br />- 2GB (Vista/7)<br />GPU: 256MB Nvidia GeForce 7800GT or AMD Radeon 2900XT (equivalent or better)<br />HDD Space: 20GB  (originally had specified 8GB)<br />Monitor Resolution: PSO2's minimum supported video resolution is 1280x720 (true 720p). You must have your computer's video resolution set to output at at least this resolution for PSO2 to play. Bad news for those of you holding onto your antiquated 1024x768 max res monitors.
<br /><br />All I have to say about these claimed minimum system requirements is...<br />[move][size=24pt]NOOOOO, IT'S A TRAP![/size] Honestly, don't know what the folks at Sega are thinking posting lowball specs like that.[/move]<br /><br /><br />[size=12pt]You can download the official PSO2 Character Creator/Benchmark System Assesment Tool from this page:<br />[/size]<br /><br /><br />Okay, so here's the scoop. I have tested both my old, recently replaced, PC and a slightly newer PC (owned by my employer), each of which have completely up-to-date software and drivers installed. Both systems have nice dual core CPU's, both have what I would've previously regarded as decent graphics cards, and both systems scored exceptionally poorly!  :nope:<br /><br />No way forseeable that simply installing a high end graphics card would raise the scoring of either of these two systems to the 3,000 point score needed for a passing grade from the PSO2 benchmark program. Benchmark was run on both systems in the default, windowed mode, with default settings. Click links to see score screen shots.<br />Tweeg's Old PC Score:<br />Employer's PC Score:<br /><br /><br />To be continued...


  • As you can see from those bench mark scores, there wasn't any point in running the full screen test. They simply would've gotten even more abysmal scores, if you can imagine such.  :x_x:<br /><br />To be fair, my old PC's graphics card is below the minimum specifications recommended by Sega. But again, simply installing a newer graphics card is not going to alleviate the insanely low scoring enough to make all that much of an improvement. Could installing a Radeon HD7000 series or Nvidia 600 series GPU pull the score up to 3,000 or even beyond? Rather doubtful on that. And if they could my guess is just barely, and only in windowed mode as the two posted benchmarks above were run.<br /><br />Regarding the official PSO2 benchmark.<br />For starters, you download it from here.:<br />Score Chart Roughly Translated<br />
    under 3,000 - System needs upgrading. Unable to average 30fps on benchmark and/or other issues.<br />3,000 - 4,999 - System passable for PSO2. Succeeded at running the benchmark and averaged at least 30fps.<br />5,000+ - System optimal for PSO2. Successfully ran banchmark and averaged 60fps or better.
    <br /><br />So remember, your system needs to score 3,000 points or better on the benchmark to receive a passing grade according to the grading posted on the PSO2 website.<br /><br />Nvidia GPU's are specifically what Sega recommends for PSO2 in their recommended hardware category. And, it should be noted that I've yet to run the benchmark on a PC with an Nvidia graphics card installed. It's a very vague recommendations list, which I suspect may likely be because contributions were paid by certain corporations to have key product series promoted. That vague list simply specifies:<br />
    Windows OS: 7<br />CPU: Intel i7<br />GPU: Nvidia
    <br />Like I said, a vague recommendations list at best. Although, I will not dismiss the possibility that PSO2 might have Nvidia GPU optimizations. Simply will not know for sure until a later time when the oppurtunity to run some same system tests between two comparable spec Nvidia and AMD/Ati graphics cards presents itself.<br /><br />Now let's talk about some more real world benchmarking that has already been conducted by yours truly. Built my new PC with PSO2 already in mind. One place I took exception to Sega's system recommendations was on the graphics card... cards. I'm a fan of Radeon (Ati/AMD) graphics cards for a couple of reasons that needn't be gotten into here, so didn't opt to go with an Nvidia graphics card. To make life even more interesting, the new system is a tri-boot setup, sporting Windows XP, 7, and 8. Setting this up permitted for some great same system, different configuration, PSO2 benchmarking.<br /><br /><br /><br />[size=12pt]Tweeg's New PC Benchmarked: Single AMD Radeon Graphics Card[/size]<br />As always, running the benchmark with default settings. Full screen mode run at 1280x1024 resolution.<br />Windows XP Home<br />- Windowed:<br />- Full Screen:<br /><br />Okay, now compare the above results for XP with these results.<br />Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit<br />- Windowed:<br />- Full Screen:<br /><br /> :yearight: Baffled? As you should be. Windows XP out performed Windows 7 on both of these benchmarks!<br />In windowed mode, XP scored 36 points higher than 7. And in Full Screen, XP scored 157 points higher than 7. It defies logic for certain and it seemingly only gets more illogical. Now let's turn up the heat a bit. You'll get caught up in the CrossFire conundrum with... second video card installed, CrossFireX enabled.<br /><br /><br /><br />[size=12pt]Tweeg's New PC Benchmarked: CrossFireX, Dual AMD Radeon Graphics Cards[/size]<br />As always, running the benchmark with default settings. Full screen mode run at 1280x1024 resolution.<br />Windows XP Home<br />- Windowed:<br />- Full Screen:<br /><br /> wtf Now are you completely baffled? With CrossFireX enabled, PSO2's benchmark scores have taken a nose dive. As insane as this seems, there is a good explanation for this. When Windows XP was released back in 2001, the likes of Ati's CrossFire and Nvidia's SLI multi-card link technology didn't exist. SLI didn't come on the scene until 2004 and CrossFire until 2005. Simply put, XP wasn't designed for these two similar technologies and thus when enabled XP doesn't know what to make of it. When in XP, CrossFire and SLI only benefit programs with specified compatibility for them. In this case PSO2, having not been inherentley designed for CrossFire compatibility, running in Windows XP with CrossFire enabled henders the performance.<br /><br />But wait, what happens when we try this again in... <br />Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit<br />- Windowed:<br />- Full Screen:<br /><br />Well, first of all we see that in Windowed mode the score has dropped down by 570 points from what it had scored with just just one graphics card, no CrossFire. Only explanation I can come up for on this is that because it was windowed the GPU's couldn't devote the entirety of their rendering power to just the benchmarking application. Excuse? No, not really, I just don't have any better explanation for this performance drop, expecially when considering the one place it did improve.<br /><br />Ah, full screen mode. This is what it all comes down to really since Full Screen mode is how I, and most anyone, would much prefer to play the game. And this is where a significant performance increase is at last witnessed from CrossFireX being enabled on the graphics cards. This was where CrossFire finally paid off for PSO2, a stunning 2,552 point score increase of the single graphics card score. Here, Full Screen, in Windows 7, we finally see that AMD's CrossFireX setup can give PSO2 a great performance boost under the right conditions.<br /><br />
  • Running full-screen vs running in a window also changes CPU-priority around. This can also have influence on things. <br /><br />Also, I'm not sure if crossfire/SLI always works when running in a window, because it's essentially running in the Windows desktop instead of on its own (if that makes sense). <br /><br />The only game I run in a window is minesweeper :lol:
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