Following No Man’s Sky’s first patch, which is available to download now via its Steam beta branch, we thought it best to see how just its performance was. We’ve benchmarked No Man’s Sky on PNY’s GeForce GTX 950 XLR8 2GB; a mid-range card with decent performance for a reasonable price. In addition, we’re taking a look at the difference between Low and Ultra in No Man’s Sky, and just what your additional hardware will get you in terms of visual loveliness.
The PC benchmark is performed on an PNY NVIDIA GeForce 950 XLR8 2 GB | Intel i7-5820K | 16GB.
No Man's Sky @ 1080p Low Ultra
PNY GTX 960 2GB
When it comes to the performance, there isn’t actually a great deal between Low and Ultra in No Man’s Sky. On PNY’s GTX 950 you’re looking at a 26%. On the one hand this means there isn’t much to be done in terms of tweaking performance when trying to run No Man’s Sky on low-end hardware, but on the other these are decent frame rates the GTX 950 is pulling in at 1080p.
Despite this, there were occasional moments of stuttering in No Man’s Sky on both Low and Ultra. We’ve got 16GB RAM and an Intel Core i7-5820K here so it’s unlikely they’re the problem. If feels as the GTX 950 can occasionally be a bit slow to load in assets, particular when changing location or viewpoint quickly, eg when taking off or flying close to a planet’s surface. It’s definitely something to watch out for, although it’s definitely not as bad as pre-patch. Fortunately No Man’s Sky’s slow, explorative pace means this should never be an actual issue during gameplay.
As for the different between Low and Ultra in No Man’s Sky, well, you can see a pronounced impact in the video. While you’ve got boots on the ground they look pretty much identical, but once you lift off you see the draw distance really come into play. Entire mountains warp into view on Low. There is an element to this in Ultra but it’s nowhere near a jarring. I can say that you do get used to it pretty quickly, and it is part and parcel of the manner in which No Man’s Sky is procedurally generated.
What do you guys think of the performance in No Man's Sky? Has it improved since the patch? Let us know if the graphics and variety of visuals match up to what you were expecting!