Does what it says it does. It's a simple stress test or benchmark for your PC. Here's what I thought about it (note: I ran my benchmark testing on "Extreme" with everything maxed out):
- Demanding on the PC, as it should be. Puts thousands of units on the screen with explosions, physics, and more all going at the same time.
- Exciting to watch. Most benchmarks are boring, slow, and I end up falling asleep to it or having to leave the computer. With this, I was watching dogfights and capital ship battles to see who would win.
- Easy to use and easier to install. The startup is simple, make a few choices on the menu and launch. Runs for 360 seconds on the timed run.
- Not many options. I wasn't given a choice to choose resolution, or any specific graphical settings. Options were, "Extreme", "High", "Medium" and "Low". There is a "Custom" option but no means within the application to change the settings (looks like you'll have to go into the .ini file to do that).
- Readout/results were minimal. I was hoping for more numbers and a more in depth result screen. This didn't have it. All it provided was this:
Star Swarm Stress Test - ©2013
== Hardware Configuration =================================
GPU: AMD Radeon R9 200 Series
AMD FX-8370 Eight-Core Processor
Physical Cores: 4
Logical Cores: 8
Physical Memory: 17071751168
Allocatable Memory: 8796092891136
== Configuration ==========================================
User Input: Disabled
GameCore Update: 16.6 ms
Bloom Quality: High
PointLight Quality: High
ToneCurve Quality: High
Glare Overdraw: 16
Shading Samples: 64
Shade Quality: Mid
Deferred Contexts (D3D11): Disabled
Small Batch Optimized (Mantle): Enabled
Temporal AA Duration: 16
Temporal AA Time Slice: 2
Detailed Frame Info: Off
== Results ================================================
Test Duration: 360 Seconds
Total Frames: 14200
Average FPS: 39.44
Average Unit Count: 4203
Maximum Unit Count: 5373
Average Batches/MS: 784.83
Maximum Batches/MS: 4539.62
Average Batch Count: 20733
Maximum Batch Count: 110333
Now the upside here is the Mantle support for AMD users. It helped me get a better feel for my system/GPU and where I stand. I compare this to 3DMark 11 and it falls short. 3DMark shows much more extensive information and provides in which to compare to other users. The website shows a ranking for each users test and allows you to see what components they have that might have made a difference.
Example, I ran 3DMark and found I was 8216 ranked. Another person was similar, and the number one with my same CPU and GPU had 12,000 points. I was able to look into their build and see that they were running a second graphics card and had overclocked it for the test. That was nice to know and physically see what a second card might do for me.
3DMark as well as this, is also free. You'll need to pay in 3DMark to unlock additional features, resolutions, etc that you don't have to do here. That's the downside to that software.
All in all, this is a worthwhile test that really does put the stress on your system. I'm satisfied with the results and could definitely see where my system struggled through the large scale battles (with explosions, laser fire, and more all going on at the same time). As I said, the biggest plus about it, this was just fun to watch (unlike 3DMark which I actually fell asleep to).