Titanfall to Require 48GB of Storage - Optimization Concerns for PC

Written by  Wednesday, 26 February 2014 17:58

When we benchmarked Titanfall on video cards recently, it was clear that the game's beta was just old enough that it was completely sub-optimized for PC performance; as drivers are released and the game is completed, we hope to see significant performance improvements over the beta. The Source engine shouldn't require a 760 to run smoothly, but we'll see how that goes soon enough.

titanfall-pilot-ship

In the meantime, Respawn Entertainment's Vince Zampella just announced via twitter that Titanfall will require 48GB of storage on the PC. Zampella stated in his tweet:

"[It will take] approx: 21GB download, 48GB installed."

The compressed download won't be as bad, at least, but it's approaching sizes that those stuck on slower internet connections (looking at you, TWC) may want to purchase the physical copy. Even then, 48GB immediately eliminates the possibility of using an SSD for a lot of people; if you've got a 120GB or 240GB SSD, that space might be better dedicated to Windows (obviously), core applications, any Adobe applications, and then 4 other games. The good news, at least, is that SSDs have gotten a lot more affordable lately ($180 for 240GB; $83 for 120GB).

Unfortunately, while testing Titanfall on our GPU suite, we saw pretty severe impact when using SSDs vs. HDDs for the game. I didn't officially run benchmark numbers, but load times were substantially increased on a 7200RPM WD Black HDD when matched against our test Samsung 840 and Kingston HyperX SSD. At that point, the beta was approximately 12GB and was very obviously an old internal version (read: the beta was nowhere near what we'll see at launch... hopefully). It is common practice in development to release an older, stable internal version to the public while retaining the most recent beta version in-house -- as far as we know, the Titanfall build we played could have been a month old. Given the amount of tearing, microstuttering, and compatibility issues with CrossFire/SLI, I certainly hope that's the case.

titanfall-pc-benchmark-1Read about the benchmark methodology and results here.

Regardless, my point is that going from 12GB in beta to 48GB in Gold tells me that either the finalized textures are gargantuan or Respawn added an insane amount of additional maps, models, and complex objects (and still higher-resolution textures). Or they're just extremely wasteful and didn't have time to optimize and compress data which, given residence under EA, is a possibility. We know there will be more maps, but at a 4x size increase, it's almost a certainty that the textures have seen a big HD update. This is potentially good news for PC gamers used to high-fidelity, but screams 'poor optimization' to us. With files that large, pinging mechanical storage is going to be painful unless Respawn does some serious low-level compression, but at 48GB, something tells me they haven't done a lot of that to begin with.

To put all of this into perspective, even my overhauled Skyrim install (with 2k & 4k resolution textures) does not come close to 48GB. Battlefield 4 in its current form rests at just under 30GB (after the Mantle patch) -- CoD: Ghosts is close to 40GB, but still isn't as big as Titanfall (and is a lot less visually-complex than Battlefield).

I've got a feeling of uncertainty about Titanfall as it pertains to the PC, but we will perform further video card benchmarking (and additional tests) upon the game's release. My suggestion to our readers would be to wait for the purchase and come visit us the day / day after launch. We should have benchmark results in some capacity the day after launch, at the very latest.

- Steve "Lelldorianx" Burke.

From Around the Web