Supreme Commander Benchmarking Guide
Like Crysis, Supreme Commander is also a very tough benchmark. Unlike Crysis though, Supreme Commander is more strenous on the CPU, rather than the graphics card. However, this does not mean that Supreme Commander is a worthless benchmark for graphics cards. It is a good way to test how much effect a graphics card has on the performance of a CPU-limited game. Of course, it is great for benchmarking CPUs.
Benchmarking using Supreme Commander is very easy. The creator, Gas Powered Games, has conveniently included a built-in benchmark that allows you to run a time demo with four opponents battling it out. At the end of the time demo, you will be given a SupComMark composite score as well as a large bunch of benchmark data, the most important of which is the average frame rate.
Let's take a look at how you can benchmark your CPU and GPU using Supreme Commander.
Setting Up Supreme Commander
The first thing you should do before benchmarking Supreme Commander is ensure that you have Supreme Commander fully patched to the latest version. You can get it here - http://info.thq.com/support/.
You should also ensure you are using the latest driver for your graphics card. If you are testing multiple CPUs, do not change your graphics card or its driver when you swap to a different CPU. Changing either the graphics card or its driver will skew your results and render them useless for accurate comparisons.
If you are using an NVIDIA graphics card, you can download the latest driver here - http://www.nvidia.com/page/drivers.html. If you are using an ATI-AMD graphics card, you can download the latest driver here - http://ati.amd.com/support/driver.html.
Before we start benchmarking, we will also need to set up Supreme Commander's display settings. To do that, load Supreme Commander and head over to Options -> Video. Here, you can change various display settings. The most important settings are Primary Adapter, Anti-Aliasing and Vertical Sync.
Primary Adapter allows you to set the resolution you wish to run at. For graphics card tests, it should be set at the highest resolution your monitor supports. For CPU tests, it would be better to use a lower resolution like 1024x768 or 1280x1024. Anti-Aliasing is useful if you are testing graphics cards, but should be disabled for CPU tests. Vertical Sync must be disabled in all benchmark tests, whether you are testing the CPU or the graphics card.
As far as the other settings are concerned, you can leave them at default or you can change them. But once you start testing, you must not change them. For CPU tests, it may be a good idea to reduce the graphics rendering quality and features. For tests that involve graphics cards, the reverse is true - you should turn everything to the maximum.
Once all this is done, you are ready to benchmark Supreme Commander!