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  About "Minimum Recommended" requirements for Arma3 ... General    

At Arma3 launch, "Minimum" and "Recommended" configuration requirements have been released. As far as we know players playing with a rig at the "Minimum" requirements level are still having issues with Campaign on Altis and while playing MP.
And it's so, despite the considerable progress done in terms of optimization since Alpha release in March 2013.
Today, as specifications for computers supporting A3 ports to Linux and MacOS have been released and some changes have been made in "Minimum" requirements for Windows, it's time to have a look at Arma3 configuration requirements.

Here are my comments on hardware configurations for playing Arma3 and about the minimum to get in order to enjoy the game.

For the record, according to the Arma3 official website, the config were initially:
MINIMUM
OS: Windows Vista SP2 / Windows 7 SP1 (Apple OS not supported)
PROCESSOR: Intel Dual-Core 2.4 GHz / AMD Dual-Core Athlon 2.5 GHz
GRAPHICS: NVIDIA GeForce 8800GT / ATI Radeon HD 3830 / Intel HD Graphics 4000
GPU MEMORY: 512 MB
DirectX 10
RAM: 2 GB
HARD DRIVE: 15 GB free space
AUDIO: DirectX -compatible on-board
OTHER: Internet connection and free Steam account to activate

RECOMMENDED
OS: Windows 7/8 (Apple OS not supported)
PROCESSOR: Intel Core i5-2300 / AMD Phenom II X4 940
GRAPHICS: NVIDIA GeForce GTX 560 / Radeon HD 7750 GPU AMD
MEMORY: 1 GB
DirectX 11
RAM: 4 GB
HARD DRIVE: 25 GB free space
AUDIO: DirectX-compatible soundcard
OTHER: Internet connection and free Steam account to activate

There has been a first change late 2014 about the "Recommended" OS config from “Windows 7/8” to "Windows 7/8 64-bit."
With the release of ports on Linux and MacOS, two versions of the specifications have been published.
The hardware specs for the Apple OS are very specific, we will leave them aside yet.
Let's have a look at "Minimum" and "Recommended" configuration requirements for Linux :

MINIMUM
OS: any current 64bit Linux distribution (tested on Fedora 22, Ubuntu 14.04 and Mint 17.01) PROCESSOR: Quad core CPU (Intel Core i5 2.4 GHz or better)
GRAPHICS: OpenGL 4.1 compliant GPU (NVIDIA GeForce GTX 440 or AMD HD 7470 or better)
GPU MEMORY: 1 GB
RAM: 8 GB HARD DRIVE: 20 GB free space

RECOMMENDED
OS: any current 64bit Linux distribution (tested on Fedora 22, Ubuntu 14.04 and Mint 17.01) PROCESSOR: Intel Core i7 3.4 GHz or AMD FX-8350 4 GHz
GRAPHICS: OpenGL 4.1 compliant GPU (NVIDIA GeForce GTX 660 or AMD Radeon HD 7850 or better)
GPU MEMORY: 2 GB
RAM: 8 GB
HARD DRIVE: 25 GB free space

Several elements in "Minimum" requirements are obviously going in the direction of increasing the level of minimum required specifications:
- Using a 64bit OS
- Using a quad core 2.4 GHz in the form of an Intel Core i5 2.4 GHz or better
- Using 8GB RAM

For the graphics card, the specifications are a bit difficult to understand, the GTX 440 does not exist and the HD 7470 is a card with lower performances than cards previously suggested.
These lower specifications regarding graphics cards are more difficult to understand as in the same time in the "Minimum" requirements for Windows, 2 GPUs were added :

Nvidia GeForce GTX 560 / AMD Radeon HD 7750

These cards were already displayed as the specification "Recommended" for GPU!
Does it mean a Linux based rig must get more processing power but can afford less graphic computing? Weird.

Based on my own experience, on the tests I made myself and as well on reports made by players on various forums, I can say that even if a "Minimum" configuration based rig allowed Arma3 to "run", it does not allowed a satisfactory gaming experience in SP and MP as well.

My project is to outline what I call "Minimum Recommended" requirements for Windows, in order to allow players to enjoy Arma3 in SP and MP. It could be something like:

MINIMUM RECOMMENDED
OS: any current Windows 64bit (Windows 7 / 8.1 / 10)
PROCESSOR: Quad core CPU (Intel Core i5 2.4 GHz or better) or Intel Dual-Core i3 4000 (2cores / 4threads - 3.1 GHz or better)
GRAPHICS: NVIDIA GeForce GTX 750 (DX12 + Maxwell) or Radeon R7 250 (DX12 + GCN 1.0) or better
GPU MEMORY: 1 GB RAM or better
DirectX® 12
RAM: 8 GB
HARD DRIVE: 20 GB free space [SSHD or SSD / HD combo recommended]


  March 23rd, 2016 - 15:45 By Old Bear   Comment (0)  

  SITREP #00148 Official    

On March 22, 2016, Joris-Jan van 't Land has reported a SITREP #00148 on the official Arma3 site.

FROM: High Command
TO: Arma 3 Users
INFO: Release Candidate 1.58, Difficulty Overhaul Phase 2, Eden Editor Improvements
PRECEDENCE: Flash

SITUATION


Release Candidate testing for update 1.58 has now indeed begun. The access code for the Steam beta branch is Arma3Update158RC. Beware that this branch will require over a gigabyte of downloaded data, and may still be updated several times during the testing period. A few official servers are running the RC build, and more will likely follow suit. You'll find an indication of the highlighted changes on our forums, which is also where we'd like to ask you to share your feedback. Another good channel to discuss the RC is the Arma subreddit. In order to more effectively track your feedback on the #RoadToApex, a re-launch of the Feedback Tracker is still being worked on diligently by our web team.

INTELLIGENCE


The latest weekly dev photo is colored suspiciously orange! The awesome Team Mike, with reinforcements from Team Bravo, had organised a splendid surprise party for their departing Dutch brethren, who will soon be opening the new Bohemia Interactive branch in Amsterdam, The Netherlands.







Our own Project Lead Petr Kolář will be giving a presentation at the Game Access 2016 summit in Brno, Czech Republic. His talk will be about community management based on his Arma 3 experiences. He won't be the only Bohemian ambassador; Arma 3's Creative Director Jay Crowe will share his accumulated knowledge too. Then we have Design Lead Lukáš Haládik, who will give a lecture on game design. Senior Programmer Jan Zelený is preparing a session about development of our new in-house engine Enfusion. If you're interested and can make it to Central Europe, check out the available passes.




The community continues to crank out great new places to explore as they release full terrains. One example is the 1.0 release of Isla Abramia by IceBreakr. You can download this mod via Workshop, but be aware that you need the CUP Terrains as well.



Tilos is another custom terrain in development by Sébastien Descy. It's looking very promising and we look forward to visiting it soon.




OPERATIONS


Senior Designer Vladimír Hynek reports on the second phase of a Difficulty Overhaul arriving to Dev-Branch. This phase focuses on dividing the options over groups and renaming some for better comprehensibility. There are also more specific and subtle changes, so we'd like to invite you to our Community Wiki for a detailed overview. Scripters should especially check the information about command difficultyEnabled and its replacement.




LOGISTICS


Eden Editor's developers continue to improve the scenario design tool with nice usability tweaks. Last week we already discussed that the first version of custom compositions were coming to Dev-Branch, which they now have.




It's now also possible to insert entities in 2D or 3D via a left mouse button double-click. The primary workflow to do this is now via the right-hand side Asset Browser, but there was a special request to restore the original method as an alternative.




We can also share with modders that the ability to add custom in-editor tutorials has been documented by Senior Designer Karel Mořický. Finally and more generally, there now is an ability for certain User Interface controls to support multi-line text. This may make entering larger snippets of script more convenient. Further Eden Editor improvements are on the horizon, so keep checking Dev-Branch.




  March 23rd, 2016 - 07:45 By Old Bear   Comment (0)  

  SITREP #00147 Official    

On March 15, 2016, Joris-Jan van 't Land has reported a SITREP #00147 on the official Arma3 site.

FROM: High Command
TO: Arma 3 Users
INFO: Upcoming Update, Eden Editor Compositions, Ports Updated
PRECEDENCE: Flash

SITUATION


Preparations for the 1.58 main branch update are beginning to kick off this week on the #RoadToApex. That means we'll be creating a snapshot of the data and code, and we'll start organizing an intensive testing period. Besides regular maintenance of the platform and game, the update is to include the Tasks Overhaul. Several additional improvements are being mobilized for Dev-Branch deployment this week. We're quite excited about those, but their inclusion into this particular update is still unsure. Keep your sights trained on our channels for more information as well as details about Release Candidate tests starting.

INTELLIGENCE


The mod team behind FFAA has published another development update in a SITREP of their own. Read all about their progress on the forums, but especially take a look at the accompanying video. The Spanish Navy B.A.M. offshore patrol ship, with functional components and weapon systems, looks especially impressive.



Community author RedKeyMon has published a lovely screenshot of a pilot and his wingman flying jets above Altis. But that's certainly not the only cool shot posted to the Steam Community Hub. Another great source for visual stimulation is the Arma subreddit, which this gallery and this one clearly show. Check those channels out for yourself every now and then; we find the activity both inspiring and motivating!




OPERATIONS


If there's one feature we're eager to add to Eden Editor, it's the ability to create and share custom compositions. We're happy to let you know that a first version should be arriving to Dev-Branch very soon. Select a mix of entities of any type, and save the composition under its own name, with an associated author and category. These compositions will be saved as new kind of file (SQE), separate from scenarios, so you can manage and share them manually if you wish. Of course we'll want these to be shareable on Steam Workshop as well, but that may take a little longer.

Meanwhile, we've added an option to disable the random starting position for the editor. The randomization is intended to expose interesting locations to users, but we can imagine it being less useful in the workflow of some advanced designers. Go to "Settings" and then "Preferences..." (or Ctrl + K) to find the toggle.




LOGISTICS


As was announced last week, the Linux and Mac ports have been updated to 1.54 (Nexus Update). Given longer testing in-the-wild, and based on your feedback, we've adjusted the minimum and recommended system requirements for these ports specifically (they differ from the Windows version). Further information, such as known issues, is being collected on our Community Wiki. We'd also like to remind users that the Steam beta branches should not be used for the port platforms. There is no way for us to hide them just for Linux and Mac. Selecting them should not download any data, but if it does, that data would be incompatible. Stay on main branch for the ports please. And be sure to let us and Virtual Programming know about your experiences with this version on our forums!


  March 15th, 2016 - 16:32 By Old Bear   Comment (0)  

  SITREP #00146 Official    

On March 8, 2016, Joris-Jan van 't Land has reported a SITREP #00146 on the official Arma3 site.

FROM: High Command
TO: Arma 3 Users
INFO: Ports Update, Tasks Overhaul, Scripting Additions
PRECEDENCE: Flash

SITUATION


It has been a while since we had concrete information to share about the experimental client ports to Linux and Mac OS. We've finally received the green light to release the 1.54 version (so that is not yet Eden Update). The plan is to publish these updates tomorrow for people who've installed Arma 3 on those platforms (this does not affect Windows players in any way). Our tech partners at Virtual Programming will then proceed to work on the next update, but we cannot yet say when it will be ready. As we communicated when we first opened the public beta for these ports, the timing of port updates cannot be guaranteed. In this case for example, our QA teams needed to prioritize 1.56 testing of the primary Windows version, causing extra delays for the ports. We do however see good support on the port platforms, so we've decided to continue updating them this year. We can also say that BattlEye anti-cheat support should finally arrive to a future update of the ports.

INTELLIGENCE


For the most part we expect Eden Editor to intuitively expose its functionality to scenario designers while they use it. You may however wish to broaden your knowledge of its features and workflows via the in-editor tutorials. There is a collection of topics, such as entity editing, scenario attributes, and an introduction to veteran users of the legacy 2D Editor. Relevant information is accompanied by interface highlights to show you where to go. You can access the tutorials via the "Help" menu bar option, and then selecting "Tutorials...". Or press the special tutorials button in the top-right corner of the interface (under the eXit-button, marked by ! if new lessons are available). Going over all topics will unlock the new "Model Student" Steam Achievement, only received by 0.1% of the global community during its brief existence so far.




Especially cool for modders is the ability to add new tutorials, used to explain custom attributes for example. We'll have documentation on that shortly via Community Wiki. Another testimony to the openness of the tool is an editor mod by R3vo. This adds new scripted functionality to the editor, without creating dependencies on mods in the resulting scenario (i.e. players will not need this mod). On the topic of extending the editor's functionality, do take a look at this splendid guide by Foxhound International. It explains how to execute ad hoc scripting code within the editor to manipulate entities. One useful sample is applying random rotation to a large collection of props.




Are you ready to watch another one of those special pieces of Arma cinematography? Our comrades in the ARMA Finland community shared a very pretty montage with us. Check it out!



OPERATIONS

Slated for release in 1.58, the first version of an engine-based Tasks Overhaul has been staged on Dev-Branch. The objective of this cooperative effort by Designer / Programmer duo Jiří Wainar and Marcel Marciš is to make the framework more robust and user-friendly. It makes it possible to visualize multiple tasks and to interact with tasks in a nicer way overall. Designers can also extend tasks with custom data, such as required equipment or the number of people assigned. Documentation on this work will grow on our Community Wiki (you can also see documentation on the former scripted approach, that will be considered legacy from 1.58 onward). Your feedback can still help to shape this feature going forward!




While big changes often get the spotlight, the scripting possibilities in Arma 3 have continued to be expanded via requests from our own designers and community scripters alike. R&D Designer Killzone Kid is one of the people coordinating these changes, with great support from our engineers, such as Senior Programmers Jan Mareček and BXBX. Recent examples were the additions of useful Event Handlers: GetInMan, GetOutMan, SeatSwitchedMan and of course Reloaded. As for script commands, you might like animateSource and animationSourcePhase. These are counterparts to the existing animate and animationPhase, but they will let model config animators control animations in one consistent way (it's not recommended to mix these command sets). Let's imagine we have several animations that make up the mechanical movements of a weapon firing. Before you might have had to trigger these, step-by-step, via script. The new commands could be used to trigger all of them with a single command call, reducing the multiplayer traffic footprint. Follow the Dev-Branch change log to review what other goodies arrive to scripters on a daily basis.

LOGISTICS


There was a small hotfix release for 1.56 and the Tools last week. It mainly addressed issues in complex Eden Editor use cases and several multiplayer problems. We have more fixes in the works, but felt it was good to bring those we had confirmed to main branch sooner. Explore the SPOTREP and TECHREP for the details.

We'll leave you with a glimpse of what's on the horizon ...




  March 8th, 2016 - 22:09 By Old Bear   Comment (0)  

  SITREP #00145 Official    

On March 1, 2016, Joris-Jan van 't Land has reported a SITREP #00145 on the official Arma3 site.

FROM: High Command
TO: Arma 3 Users
INFO: Apex Pre-Order, Difficulty Overhaul, Dynamic Character Specialties, Legacy 2D Editor
PRECEDENCE: Flash

SITUATION


A lot of you played Arma 3 over the past weekend! The concurrent player peak was the highest we've ever recorded, almost 50,000 people at the same time. There were close to 200,000 unique players on Sunday alone. Of course this was in part because of an Arma Franchise Weekend sale we ran on Steam, and people digging into the sandbox via Eden Editor. That sandbox keeps expanding as well; there are now over 1000 mods on Workshop. We've been addressing more of the issues mentioned last week, and are preparing a small hotfix to 1.56 for this week. Other parts of the team steadily continue their work on Apex, with more and more assets coming online for Tanoa. The platform improvements are being evaluated and mapped to the various main branch updates that are planned for the #RoadToApex.




INTELLIGENCE


The Apex expansion was already available to pre-order on the Bohemia Interactive Store, but can now also be pre-purchased via Steam. It's currently still 20% discounted in both stores compared to the eventual launch price. To remind everyone: this expansion will require the Arma 3 base game. We've now also fully retired the Extended Edition and replaced it with an even better deal for new recruits: Apex Edition. It includes the game, digital extras, Karts / Helicopters / Marksmen DLC and of course Apex. For an up-to-date overview of all actual editions and their contents, please visit this page.

Copilots don't get the credit they deserve. Andrew "Dslyecxi" Gluck posted the latest episode in his Art of Flight video series a while ago to address that injustice. Using awesome Arma 3 footage, he explains what responsibilities copilots have in non-gunship helicopters. He covers in-vehicle comms, sensor pods, orientation and common procedures. The video shows you how effective a well-trained helicopter crew can be above the battlefield!



In another cool community video, the European 5th Special Forces Group introduces its unit in a montage of footage from their multiplayer operations.



OPERATIONS


Senior Designer Vladimír Hynek has some notes to share about the way the difficulty settings are going to be handled in Apex (and even before that as we plan to apply these changes in the next main branch update: 1.58). He has described the first phase of this difficulty overhaul on the Community Wiki. The ultimate goal is to make it easier for players to join servers according to their tastes. The changes should lead to enhanced filtering capabilities in the server browser.




The programmers have recently added 2 script commands that may offer interesting possibilities especially to scripters and modders: setSpeciality / getSpeciality. These allow for the possibility to dynamically override certain character attributes that are normally only defined in addon configuration files. There are two groups of attributes, namely specialty toggles and coefficients. The former are: medic, engineer, pyrotechnic and uavhacker, which are true or false. The latter are: camouflageCoef, audibleCoef, fatigueCoef, which are multiplied by the value provided. It's also possible to define custom toggles by using your own string. This might be used to track an entirely new attribute for a mod, like a hypothetical "bananaFarmer". It's important to realize that these values are for the currently running scenario only. They are saved in the character brains, so they should be respawn-compatible.

LOGISTICS


Now that Eden Editor is available to everyone, we'd like to clarify our plans for the old 2D Editor. You will have seen that editor is currently still available as non-default. Our plan is to deprecate that editor by the time we release Apex (and its corresponding platform update). In all likelihood that means it would be removed from the game, because we'd want to focus on one tool and not support two full code-bases. We feel that Eden can do everything the old editor could and much more. In case you didn't realize, there is a 2D map mode in the Eden 3D Editor as well! If you feel something is missing or not working how you'd like, please don't hesitate to let us know via the forums.

Did you participate in the most meta Eden Editor trend of building your own PC gaming set up yet? There are bonus kudos for modding in custom models of your rig, while using multiple Render Targets and Arma 3-in-Arma 3 technology!








  March 1st, 2016 - 18:51 By Old Bear   Comment (0)  

  SITREP #00144 Official    

On February 23, 2016, Joris-Jan van 't Land has reported a SITREP #00144

FROM: High Command
TO: Arma 3 Users
INFO: Eden Update Released, Top 10 Audio, Eden Editor Plans, Feedback Tracker
PRECEDENCE: Flash

SITUATION


Wow! Eden Update was a seriously massive release - the length of its changelog surprised even us. We were happy to see your reactions to the various larger and smaller improvements. To be sure you're all caught up, visit the Arma 3 website for a new blog, an overview of the changes, a splendid launch trailer, and the full SPOTREP with corresponding TECHREP for the Tools. It continues to be very rewarding for our team to support the game this long after its release, and there are so many more cool things coming up on the #RoadToApex!



As we cautioned before the update, this was a particularly complex one, containing many low-level improvements. Those always carry the risk of issues in the broader player-base, even after several weeks of Release Candidate testing, in-house and in the wild. Some of them were nicely caught ahead of release, as evidenced by the RC update log. Good job everyone! We're monitoring many channels to find out about the most pressing issues, and will address them as quickly as possible. There may also be a hotfix release in the near future. Some of the things that are bleeping most prominently on our radars: no sounds at all ( known issue caused by a -cpuCount=1 start-up parameter, so please remove or change it for now), Terrain Builder not working with the new P3D version (fixed on its Dev-Branch), several Eden Editor issues in more complex scenarios (some fixed on Dev-Branch), and several others. Thank you for your understanding and help to get things under control together.

[Twitter on click]

INTELLIGENCE


We think the audio upgrade released in Eden Update is a massive leap forward for immersion. Our audio team, lead by Jan Dušek, has put together a third top 10 blog about the most interesting improvements. Now that our vanilla combat SFX have been given a lot of love, we're working on extending the new technology to several other categories of sounds. It's also going to be interesting to hear what the various mods will do with this new-found power and flexibility. Documentation is growing on the Community Wiki, however it's not quite completed just yet.

[Twitter on click]

Our tech partners at NVIDIA have published an interview with Project Lead Petr Kolář about HBAO+ being added in Eden Update 1.56. If you're not sure what this feature does, we defer to their description: "If you're unfamiliar with Ambient Occlusion (AO), it adds contact shadows where two surfaces or objects meet, and where an object blocks light from reaching another nearby game element. The AO technique used and the quality of the implementation affects the shadowing's accuracy, and whether new shadows are formed when the level of occlusion is low. With HBAO+, the quality of Arma 3's AO is improved, bolstering overall fidelity, which further increases graphical fidelity.". The article also contains several interactive comparison images to get a better idea of the difference with prior AO techniques. Try this in the game yourself by going to CONFIGURE > VIDEO > AA & PP and selecting a level of HBAO+ in the AO drop-down.

[Twitter on click]

OPERATIONS


Welcome to the new era of scenario editing in Eden Editor. Principle developers Karel Mořický and Filip Sádovský already celebrated the occasion as seen on the latest weekly dev photo. We'd like to also thank QA Specialist Vojtěch Kovařič for his battle to test the complicated editor with full back-compat throughout its development, as well as anyone else involved. Did you know that the editor alone consists of over 40000 lines of code? We can also report that the first iteration of documentation is finished, covering basic functionality and modding the editor, complete with pretty GIFs.

[Twitter on click]

[Twitter on click]

This is by no means the end state of Eden Editor. We're already going over our own wishlist and the most frequently requested community features in order to draw up a post-release plan. There are a few things that are pretty clear we'll work on first, besides fixing issues:

  • A big one is the saving and sharing of compositions. That means you would be able to build a cool military outpost, save it, publish it to Workshop most probably, and then anybody could use it in their scenarios. But compositions are not just limited to props; you could include pre-set infantry patrols as well for example.

  • We're also aware that some of you would like to re-map certain controls, so that's on the list. We'd like to tackle this for other areas of the game as well, such as the Spectator mode.

  • What about Zeus? Some of the relevant Eden Editor improvements can hopefully be brought back to that mode, such as search.


There's more, but we'll save that for a later time. Keep letting us know about your thoughts on the forums.

[Twitter on click]

LOGISTICS


Besides listing required mods and providing shortcuts for activating them, the new Launcher Server Browser can also resolve dependencies automatically in some cases. This requires server administrators to pair the mods with Steam Workshop items via a definition file. Visit the Community Wiki for documentation on this fairly simple process.

[Twitter on click]

You may have already noticed that we've taken the Feedback Tracker(s) offline to deal with a potential security incident. Apparently there are those people who prefer us not to improve the game! The tracker ran on a separate third-party system, so other systems were not affected by this. If you used the same credentials for FT and other systems, please update them as a precaution (more information). While the FT is offline, we'd like to ask you to post issues on our forums, specifically the troubleshooting category, unless a more suitable category or thread exists (kindly try searching first). Our web team is working on restoring FT as quickly as possible, so we can all collaborate on making our games better in a transparent way.

If you liked the Eden Update artwork, visit our website to grab a cool new desktop wallpaper in a variety of formats and sizes!

[Twitter on click]


  March 1st, 2016 - 11:48 By Old Bear   Comment (0)  



 
 
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