Monitoring the GPU

Note: information in this page applies to versions up to Alpha 2.3

Star Citizen is one of the most resource intensive games on the market already, and it is still in Beta! Therefore there’s a good chance that you find yourself playing it and noticing your graphics card struggling to keep up. After all, Star Citizen is packed with all kinds of new visual effects and hi-definition textures, ready to be played at up to 4k resolutions or on multiple monitors.

A problem that almost every Star Citizen beginner has to solve is finding the optimal configuration settings for the graphics card (GPU) in order to gain the smoothest possible gaming experience. One tool that I have found very useful for monitoring and adjusting the GPU settings is MSI Afterburner.

MSI Afterburner is the world’s most recognized and widely used graphics card overclocking utility which gives you full control of your graphics cards. Other than being used for overclocking, MSI Afterburner can also be used for simply monitoring your hardware in search for potential bottlenecks during game play.

Graphic Card Information

The picture below shows the MSI Afterburner window. 

A description of the main components follows:

  • System Information (I) - Shows you the graphics card product name and current driver version.
  • Kombustor (K) - Run the KOMBUSTOR burn-in benchmark software and test your system performance.
  • Core Voltage (mV) - Adjust GPU Core Voltage to increase overclocking capability.
  • Power Limit (%) - Adjust Power limit to release overclocking potential.
  • Core Clock (MHz) - Adjust GPU Core Clockspeed to boost the performance.
  • Memory Clock (MHz) - Adjust the Memory Clockspeed to enhance data processing efficiency.
  • Fan Speed (%) - Adjust the fan speed to fine-tune cooling power.
  • Custom Profiles - Manage and easily apply multiple custom graphics card settings efficiently in Profiles.
  • Hardware Monitor - Real-time tracker provides a detailed overview of your graphics card's key statistics, like clock speeds, fan speeds, temperatures, etc.

On-Screen GPU usage

Having to Alt+Tab between the game and the Afterburner windowsjust to check the GPU usage may easily become annoying, but luckily there is an easier way of displaying the GPU status.

  1. From the MSI Afterburner window, right click on the Hardware Monitor section (the graphs on on the right side) and click Properties
  2. Go to Monitoring Tab. Under Active hardware monitoring graphs, find the GPU usage then click the "Show in On-Screen Display" checkbox.
  3. Repeate the same operation for other information that you want to be displayed directly on screen during game play, e.g. the GPU Temperatures, the FPS etc.
  4. Click OK when you're done. The GPU status should now be visible directly on your game screen.

The picture below shows an example of on-screen display applied to my Star Citizen's window.