Ok so obviously we're getting more any more "What CPU?" "Best PC?" etc. etc. so we shall try for now putting everything in the one thread and seeing how that goes, I will endeavour to update the first post with the most pertinent official information.
Hi all, I had noticed all the spam in the forum relating to this topic and I think it's at least a little because people are put off by the ~500 page thread, so they just go back and post a message. Well I suggested to placebo that the first post should at least be a FAQ that is generally useful to n00bs and he agreed--but kicked it back to me to come up with the text!
So let's debate a little what it should say and then we'll get post #1 fixed up with something that will hopefully help people.
Below is my stab at it, please comment/suggest and then we'll get post #1 fixed with what we all agree is best.
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Minimal PC Requirements
CPU: Dual Core Intel Pentium 4 3.0 GHz / Intel Core 2.0 GHz / AMD Athlon 3200+ or faster
RAM: 1 GB
Video Card: NVIDIA GeForce 7800 / ATI Radeon 1800 with Shader Model 3 and 256 MB VRAM or faster
OS: Windows XP
Recommended PC Requirements
CPU: Intel Core 2.8 GHz / AMD Athlon 64 X2 4400+ or faster
RAM: 2 GB
Video Card: NVIDIA GeForce 8800GT / ATI Radeon 4850 with Shader Model 3 and 512 MB VRAM or faster
OS: Windows XP or Vista
But does MY computer meet the requirement?
This website can help you analyze your hardware, select ArmA 2 from the drop down list and see how your rig measures up!
Still... what's it REALLY going to be like with my rig?
Try the demo! It's free and you'll know EXACTLY what it'll be like:
There are free demo's available there for both Arma II and for Operation Arrowhead.
How can I see how well my rig stacks up against others?
If you have OA you can run the two "benchmark" scenarios that you will find in single user mode. They play a scene and then report your overall performance.
If you have Arma 2, or you're not satisfied with the OA bencharmk, then you can set up your own test/scenario and use the program fraps to test your frame rate:
Looks like I only get 20 FPS on my rig, guess I can't play...
WRONG! Anything over about 15 FPS is acceptable and anything over 30 FPS is considered really good. This may surprise you, if you come from another FPS game where everybody sulks if they don't get 100 FPS or more.
ArmA is not your average FPS, it is a military simulator. As such it's calculating the trajectory of every bullet, calculating precisely what's happening kilometers away off screen, and just generally modelling things realistically and accurately in ways that other games do not. This combined with the long view distances mean you will NOT see the same level of FPS in ArmA that you would see in a lighter weight game.
The game IS calculating all that stuff accurately at your FPS, your numbers are likely similar to what many others you play with are getting, and just so long as the user experience seems fluid it's going to be fine.
Would the game run better if I had a faster CPU?
Would the game run better if I had a faster video card?
Maybe. If you adjust the video settings like anti-aliasing, anisotropic filtering, shadows, resolution, and texture quality does it make a big difference? The bigger the difference that makes, the more likely a better video card will help you. If it doesn't make much difference what you set those things to you are likely limited by your CPU.
I can't afford better hardware, what else can I do?
There are a lot of things that you can try to optimize if you feel that performance isn't quit up to what you need it to be. There are a couple of sticky threads for that over in the troubleshooting section, try some of these suggestions out: