Starfield PC Performance Review and Optimisation Guide

Starfield PC Performance Review and Optimisation Guide

Finding a Benchmarking Scene

Starfield is a huge game that features a tonne of different environments to explore and inhabit. You could be flying your ship, exploring a space station, raiding an encampment, or simply strolling across one of the settled systems many cities. 

When finding areas to benchmark within games, we try to find an area that is relatively close to what we would call a game’s “worst case scenario”, where framerates hit their lowest points during general gameplay. We also look to find areas where these scenarios are highly repeatable, allowing us to test the same location time and time again with little to no variance in data. This allows us to gather like-for-like data when testing a variety of graphics cards and processors. 

For Starfield, we ended up testing two areas, one which is within a populated area of Jemison’s New Atlantis city, and another is on the outskirts of New Atlantis where players can be surrounded by the planet’s plentiful vegetation. Videos of both test scenes are available below.

CPU Test Scene

We have defined the city testing area as our “CPU Test Scene”, where NPC counts are high, and the game can be CPU-limited relatively frequently when playing the game on high-end GPUs like Nvidia’s RTX 4090 at 1080p. We will be using this scene for our CPU and memory performance testing.  

GPU Test Scene

Our vegetation-filled test area is what we will be using for GPU testing. This area is representative of many of Starfield’s GPU-heavy areas, many of which are outside of settlements in areas which lots of vegetation. This is the scene that we will be using for our GPU-focused tests.